Wednesday 23 October 2019

It's no longer plain sailing for Spain's king as he gives up €21m yacht

Fiona Govan Madrid

King Juan Carlos of Spain has renounced the use of his yacht, which costs the taxpayer €25,000 to refuel, in the latest nod to austerity by the royals.

For the past 12 years it has provided countless photo opportunities; the monarch at the helm of the 136ft motor yacht cruising around the waters off Majorca while various members of his family sunned themselves on its deck.

But, on Thursday, the 75-year-old king made the decision to give up one of his most prized possessions amid growing resentment by Spaniards at the privileges enjoyed by the elite in a nation suffering deep economic crisis and an unemployment rate above 27pc.

"The king has taken the decision to ask the National Heritage to proceed with the release of the asset," a spokesman for the Royal Palace said.

A source at Zarzuela Palace, the King's residence, added: "It wasn't something he felt comfortable with any longer."

The vessel, named Fortuna, was given to the state for use by the king in 2000 by a group of businesses on the Balearic Islands, where the royal family has its summer palace.

The yacht, which was purchased for €21m, was the latest in a series that had played host to visiting dignitaries, including the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1990.

Recent polls show public confidence in the royal family has reached an all-time low. Last year, the family announced it would reduce its annual budget by €100,000 to €8.3m. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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