Spanish royal couple's mortgage details leaked in fraud inquiry
Friday, 26 October 2012 13:21

Princess Cristina and husband obtained €5m mortgage on his declared monthly salary of €3,000, documents show

Spain's Princess Cristina and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarín, took a €5m mortgage on his declared monthly salary of €3,000, it has emerged, the latest embarrassing details about the financial dealings of the king's daughter and son-in-law.

Leaked documents from a court investigation into alleged fraud by Urdangarín, the duke of Palma, revealed that the Caixa savings bank gave him the mortgage in 2004 to buy a €5.8m house in one of the most exclusive areas of Barcelona.

The duke had presented the bank with a tax declaration that showed his work income was €36,000 a year. He declared another €76,000 in income from investments.

It was not clear how much the princess declared. Court papers reportedly show that she earned about €90,000 that year working for the Caixa's charitable foundation, and received a further €72,000 from her father, King Juan Carlos.

The duke, a former Olympic handball player turned self-employed businessman who was given his title after marrying Cristina, had €1.3m of savings in bank accounts. The tax declaration was published in El País newspaper.

The duke is being investigated for alleged fraud and tax evasion after using his position to win contracts to organise sports events and conferences for regional governments in Valencia and the Balearic islands. He and his partners allegedly channelled €6m from these contracts through not-for-profit organisations, and money was then sent on to tax havens.

The king has since struck Cristina and her husband off the list of those who represent the crown at official occasions.

News of the miraculous mortgage came as protesters gathered outside a branch of the nationalised bank Bankia in Madrid to demand it stop throwing indebted borrowers out of their homes. "We don't negotiate with collectives, only with individual mortgage holders," a spokeswoman for the bank said.

It has been a bad year for Juan Carlos, whose popularity suffered when he was found to have accepted an all-expenses-paid trip to hunt elephants in Africa in the middle of the worst economic crisis Spain has seen for decades. He injured himself during the trip, and was forced to offer a public apology.

Giles Tremlett © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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