EXCLUSIVE - Spain's royal family agrees to greater transparency

MADRID Fri Apr 5, 2013 2:39pm IST

Spain's Infanta Cristina is seen during an official function of Spanish Civil guard in Seville October 7, 2008. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo/Files

Spain's Infanta Cristina is seen during an official function of Spanish Civil guard in Seville October 7, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo/Files

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MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish royal family has agreed to be included in the country's new transparency law, potentially giving the public unprecedented access to information on its spending and activities, a palace source said on Friday.

The source, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said representatives of the royal family have been negotiating for two months with the government on how to increase oversight of its activities.

The move takes place as the once-popular royals are embroiled in a corruption scandal that has badly damaged their public image and as ordinary Spaniards struggle with a deep economic crisis.

On Wednesday an examining magistrate charged King Juan Carlos' youngest daughter, Princess Cristina, with aiding and abetting her husband, who is charged with a number of crimes in a 6 million euros corruption case.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose centre-right People's Party is also embroiled in a number of corruption scandals, has sent to Parliament a bill for a new transparency law. It is currently being debated.

The bill, as well as other resolutions Rajoy has sent to Parliament, proposes tighter regulation of tax declarations, assets and activities of public employees, rules for lobbying activities, harsher punishments for corruption, and more thorough audits of foundations, labour unions and business chambers that receive public funding.

(Reporting by Elisabeth O'Leary; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Angus MacSwan)

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