Spanish royal household cuts budget for 2013

2013-01-22 00:56:49 GMT2013-01-22 08:56:49(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MADRID, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- King Juan Carlos of Spain will earn 292,752 euros (about 390,000 U.S. dollars) a year during 2013, while his son Prince Felipe of Asturias will earn exactly half of that figure, the Spanish Royal Household confirmed on Monday.

At the same time the overall budget for the Spanish Royal family is 7,933,710 euros , which is a 4 percent drop on the 2012 budget, with around half of that figure taken up by staffing costs, with just below 9 percent going directly to King Juan Carlos and his family, who will be paid 699,128 euros between them.

This figure does include the Dukes of Palma, Infanta Cristina and her husband Inaki Undangarin, who is currently on trial on corruption charges.

The budget has suffered reductions of 96,000 euros in protocol costs and around 80,000 euros less in incentives for the civil servants who work with the royal family.

Meanwhile the royal family shed 27 official cars at the start of the year and now have a fleet of 45 official vehicles. There are still 68 official chauffeurs, the same as in 2013, but that number will be reduced to 61 at the end of the year.

Many of the cuts are reported to have come as the express demand of Juan Carlos, who highlighted the need for the Royal family to reduce expenses in line with government departments and ministries, which have also suffered cutbacks over the past 12 months as the Spanish government looks to reduce spending in the face of the current economic crisis.

King Juan Carlos was criticized last April after breaking his hip while shooting elephants in Botswana.

The incident meant a temporary blow to his popularity, but the King's position in the country has recovered in the intervening months, partly because of his apology for the incident in which he admitted making an error of judgment and partly because many Spaniards still remember his role in helping the return of democracy to Spain following the death of General Franco in November 1975 and in resisting the attempted military coup of Feb. 23, 1981.

The televised speech by Juan Carlos, who is Commander in Chief of Spain's armed forces, after the coup is widely seen as a key factor in the coup's failure uniting the Spanish people and persuading many military personnel not to support the action. (1 euro = 1.33 U.S. dollars)

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