From daily The Guardian in Britain:
Princess Cristina fraud case leads to calls to strip her name from Spain’s streets
Dozens of towns with link to royal facing fraud charges debate whether scandal surrounding her is shaming their communities
Ashifa Kassam in Madrid
Sunday 3 August 2014 16.08 BST
Residents of Princess Cristina Street in the Spanish village of Moraleja del Vino, lined with salmon-coloured townhouses and a three-storey apartment building, used to be quite pleased with the royal associations to their quiet road.
But with their princess under investigation for possible tax fraud and money-laundering, some locals are joining a quiet rebellion that has begun around Spain to rid themselves of the name’s less-regal connotations.
The street is one of about a dozen places across the country dedicated to the embattled princess who are watching anxiously as the high-profile investigation into her affairs drags into its second year.
For some, the decision to cut ties was easy. In Palma de Mallorca, a regal boulevard dotted with Roman statues named in 1998 after Princess Cristina and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, was unceremoniously reverted back to its original name last year.
City officials pointed to her husband in explaining their hasty decision, citing “a lack of consideration towards the title and the name of our city”. Urdangarin faces charges for fraud, falsifying documents and embezzlement. Both Cristina and her husband have denied any wrongdoing.
In other cities and towns across the country, the battle has pitted monarchists against republicans, echoing the scene that played out after King Juan Carlos announced his abdication in June. Tens of thousands of Spaniards took to the street to demand a referendum on the monarchy, while thousands of others celebrated the proclamation of King Felipe.
In Extremadura, United Left politician Víctor Casco took pains to point out that the names of public buildings should pay tribute to “citizens who have led exemplary lives”. Recent events had led him to question whether that was the case for the Princess Cristina hospital in Badajoz, he said.
Casco’s arguments were echoed in Ávila, where Socialist politician Tomás Blanco took aim at a residential home named after Princess Cristina and her sister, Elena. Both politicians said they felt pushed to speak out after a judge decided to uphold charges against the princess in June, paving the way for an unprecedented criminal trial.
For Espacio Abierto (Open Space), a collective of social movements and activists in the town of Pinto, the campaign to ditch the royal’s name from the Princess Cristina Cultural Centre began in April last year, after the princess was first summoned to court.
When the judge’s April order was overturned by a higher court, it began to feel premature to pass judgment on the princess, said group member Javier Vaquero. “We agreed that if the charges are held up, we’ll take up the cause again.”
That announcement came in June. The group debated briefly rekindling their campaign, but decided to hold off.
“Morally I think we’ve all condemned this lady,” said Vaquero. “But our views are not the same as a sentence.”
One hundred and 70 miles away in Moraleja del Vino, village officials came to the same conclusion. A petition to rid the street of Cristina’s name was initiated by a former councillor who argued that the honour should only be bestowed on “people who serve as examples to be emulated, particularly for young people”.
The matter was discussed among local authorities, said mayor Guillermo Freire Rodríguez. “We agreed that if they sentence her, we’ll take down the name of the street.”
His tone was defensive as he explained why the village had decided to keep the name for now. “When we named the street after her, she seemed like someone who deserved it. Now she might not be, but we want to be sure.”