(Vigo) Former King Juan Carlos I arrived in Spain on Wednesday for his second visit since leaving for exile amid scandals in August 2020 in the United Arab Emirates, a trip that promises to be more discreet than the first.

Coming from London, where he had attended the Champions League quarter-final second leg between Chelsea and Real Madrid (0-2) on Tuesday evening, the ex-monarch landed shortly before 2 p.m. (8 a.m. Eastern time) at Vigo airport (Galicia, northwest), according to an AFP photographer on the spot.

Juan Carlos is due to spend a few days in the Galician port of Sanxenxo, where the sailboat with which he was world champion in the past, the “Bribon”, is taking part in a regatta on Saturday and Sunday.

On the other hand, it is not a priori planned that he will make the trip to Madrid, as during his last visit eleven months ago, to see his son, the current King Felipe VI, whose relations with his father are notoriously distant.

Never officially announced, this new visit by Juan Carlos to the country over which he reigned from 1975 to 2014 promises to be quieter than the previous one, which had given rise to a few small walkabouts.

The royal palace, which is still silent on the activities of the “ King Emeritus ”, declined to comment.

For her part, the spokeswoman for the left-wing government of Pedro Sánchez assured last week that she had “nothing to say on the subject”. “ This is, as you know, a personal decision (of the ex-king) on ​​which we do not have to pass judgment ”, Isabel Rodríguez said simply.

In an editorial, the conservative newspaper ABC, a staunch defender of the monarchy, indicated last week “ hope that this trip will be made with intelligence, austerity and discretion, because the controversies around the father of King Felipe VI are always used by the enemies of the crown “.

Last May, Juan Carlos had been cheered on the port of Sanxenxo and had not fled from the cameras. A lack of discretion which, according to the Spanish press, had not been to the taste of the royal palace.

” Explinations ? But about what? “, he had replied to the press, while the left-wing government had estimated, through the voice of Isabel Rodríguez, that the former monarch had “ lost an opportunity to give explanations ” on the suspicions of corruption having targeted “ and to ask forgiveness ” from the Spaniards for these repeated scandals.

Juan Carlos left Spain to settle in Abu Dhabi in August 2020 amid increasingly embarrassing revelations about his lavish lifestyle and the origin of his fortune, while a judicial inquiry had just been held. open against him.

Relating to suspicions of corruption and money laundering, this investigation and two others opened subsequently were closed in March 2022 by the Spanish courts, in particular because of the prescription of the offenses and the immunity from which he benefited as chief. of state until his abdication in 2014.

The prosecutors had, however, highlighted the “ tax irregularities ” of which the ex-king had been guilty.

If he is no longer worried about justice, the many revelations about his lifestyle and the opaque origin of his fortune have forever tarnished the image of this figure adored for decades for having led the democratic transition of the Spain after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

Contrary to the discretion of the socialist wing of the government, the ministers from the radical left and the allied formations of the executive in Parliament have expressed their opposition to this new visit by the former sovereign.

Juan Carlos “does a lot of damage to the image of Spain and to the image of the monarchy”, launched the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzon, on Wednesday.

“ He is a person who has been targeted by a number of legal proceedings and even if they were concluded thanks to the prescription, they showed that he (was) not innocent ”, he added.