MONARCHY

Donators want royal yacht returned

Businessmen disagree with decision to pass on vessel to the Spanish government

The Fortuna yacht, which was given as a gift to King Juan Carlos.
The Fortuna yacht, which was given as a gift to King Juan Carlos. B. RAMÓN

A group of wealthy businessmen who chipped in 600,000 euros each to buy King Juan Carlos a yacht want it back, now that the Spanish monarch has decided not to use it any more to save the government money.

In a meeting on Monday, the group of donators decided to ask the government to give them back the Fortuna, because it was supposed to be for the king's use only. The 41.5-meter-long vessel was given to the king in 2000.

Earlier this month, the monarch announced his decision to give the yacht to the Spanish government, because “it makes no sense” to keep it when all of Spain’s institutions are being forced to set examples of austerity. Filling up the yacht’s fuel tanks alone costs over 20,000 euros.

The Cabinet is due to decide whether to keep or sell the vessel.