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Catalan Leader Urges Spanish King to Abdicate as Father Flees Amid Investigation, Reports Say

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The head of the Catalan regional government, Quim Torra, has called on Spain's King Felipe VI to abdicate after his father and former monarch, Juan Carlos I, left the country amid an ongoing corruption case, as reported by the Spanish news agency Europa Press on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference, Torra demanded an explanation from the Spanish government, which the Catalan leader said "allowed, facilitated, and welcomed the escape of a person … who was under investigation in a high-profile corruption case," as quoted by the agency.

The Catalan leader also asked Roger Torrent, the speaker of the regional parliament, to call an emergency session to debate the former monarch’s absence, adding that Felipe VI should abdicate the throne due to the ongoing situation, as reported by the agency.

 In this Saturday, May 4, 2019 file photo, Spain's emeritus King Juan Carlos, right, and emeritus Queen Sofia leave the Notre Dame cathedral after attending at the funeral of the Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, in Luxembourg.  - Sputnik International
Why is the Spanish Monarchy in Crisis?
King Emeritus Juan Carlos I abdicated the Spanish throne in 2014, allowing his son Felipe to become the country’s monarch. Earlier on Tuesday, domestic newspapers reported that Juan Carlos I had arrived in the Dominican Republic, one day after sending his son a letter stating that he would leave the country, despite an ongoing corruption case.

On Monday, Juan Carlos I’s lawyer Javier Sanchez-Junco said that the former monarch would remain available to speak with Spanish prosecutors despite his absence from the country.

The Spanish Supreme Court began investigating the former monarch in June, in relation to a 2011 deal that saw Spanish firms awarded a contract worth 6.7 billion euros ($7.8 billion) to construct a high-speed railroad link between the Saudi Arabian cities of Mecca and Medina.

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