Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The other budget of the Royal Household of Spain


Today, on 28th December 2011, the Royal Household of Spain has brought its budget into the open. Although it had been often claimed, and contrary to most European monarchies, since 1979 the Royal Household of Spain would not reveal it.
But this is not enough. It is a good gesture, necessary for a real democracy, favouring transparency and allowing citizens to learn how public money is spent by the royal household. But nonetheless, a significant percentage of this budget remains concealed. As we said in a previous post, in the General State Budgets of Spain, there is a clearly assigned item for the Royal Family (8,434,280 euros), but in total the monarchy receives 25 million euros. And this is so because there are other hidden items in other budgets besides the Royal Budget. The government has never revealed the amount of these hidden items, so the total budget remains an unravelled mystery. Just to get an idea, the following list includes some items not included in the 8-million-euro Royal Family Budget, compiled by Iñaki Anasagasti, member of the Spanish Senate:

- Safety (item within the budget of Home Affairs)
- Travelling expenses (item within the budget of Home Affairs)
- Flights (item within the budget of Defence)
- Escorts for Prince and Princesses (item within the budget of Defence)
- Cars: Rolls, Mercedes, Audis, etc. (item within the budget of Public Works)
- Chauffeurs (item within the budget of Public Works)
- Palaces: Zarzuela, Oriente, la Granja de San Ildefonso, Marivent, the prince’s palace, etc. + maintenance, electricity, gas, water, telephone, gardeners, servants and maids, etc. (item within the budget of Patrimony)
- Official and non-official trips abroad (item within the budget of Foreign Affairs)
- Staff of the General Secretariat of the Royal Household (item within the budget of Presidency)

The document issued by the Royal Household talks about transparency and austerity. But the budget is still not transparent at all, and needless to say, not very austere. It’s high time the king should practice what he preaches.

Sources:

  1. The Royal Budget of 2011: http://imagenes.publico-estaticos.es/resources/archivos/2011/12/28/1325074553154Desglose%20presupuestario.pdf
  2. Previous post at Delivering Data about the hidden items: http://www.deliveringdata.com/2010/08/wich-is-budget-of-royal-household-of.html
  3. The list compiled by Iñaki Anasagasti has been taken from the book Una monarquía protegida por la censura (“A monarchy protected by censorship”), published by Foca: http://ianasagasti.blogs.com/mi_blog/2009/06/la-censura-al-libro.html    

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