King Felipe takes a 20 percent pay cut in Spain


Spanish Royals King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia
Spanish Royals King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia
Spain’s King Felipe VI will earn 20 percent less than his abdicated father, the palace said Tuesday, detailing its first budget since he took the crown vowing to polish its image.

The 47-year-old will receive 234,204 euros ($265,000) in salary and expenses in 2015 as head of state, the palace said in a budget statement published on its website.

That is one-fifth less than the 293,000 euros his father Juan Carlos was paid as king in 2014.

In 2012 Juan Carlos sparked outrage by going on a luxury elephant-hunting safari while Spaniards suffered in a recession. Youth unemployment stands at 55 per cent – second in the EU only to Greece – and almost half of under-30s still live with their parents.

Felipe himself earned just half that amount last year as prince, as he took over as head of state from Juan Carlos, 76, in June.

The palace’s overall budget is virtually unchanged at 7.8 million euros, under the state spending plan approved last year.

Tuesday’s statement detailed how that money will be spent, part of the palace’s efforts to appear more transparent.

Felipe’s wife, Queen Letizia, a 42-year-old former newsreader, gets a salary of 128,808 euros in the new budget.

Juan Carlos, who retains his kingly title despite having abdicated the throne, gets 187,356 euros.

The amount deducted from salaries was redistributed to investments and contingency funds.

The palace budget has been cut or frozen each year from 2010 as Spain fights to stabilize its public finances.

This is the fourth year in a row that the palace has published its budget, which is paid from the public purse and approved by parliament.

The royal family’s popularity plunged in the last years of Juan Carlos’s reign due to a string of scandals.

A fraud investigation has engulfed his youngest daughter Cristina, who has been ordered to stand trial.