MADRID (Reuters) – Former king Juan Carlos’s sudden exit is only temporary, he told friends from aboard a jet carrying him away from Spain, La Vanguardia newspaper reported on Wednesday, as confusion mounted over the ex-monarch’s plans.
“I’m not on holiday and I’m not abandoning Spain. This is just a parenthesis,” he said in a message to friends, according to the newspaper.
Dogged by allegations of corruption, Juan Carlos decided to leave Spain to prevent his personal affairs from overshadowing his son King Felipe’s reign, the royal palace said on Monday, stunning Spaniards.
But, with no official confirmation of the 82-year-old’s whereabouts, speculation remains rife. El Pais, also reporting that the former king told friends his departure would be temporary, added: “Others, in the government, think it won’t be that easy.”
Juan Carlos came to the throne in 1975 after the death of General Francisco Franco and was widely respected