Barcelona City Council has already started procedures to withdraw the City's Gold Medal from ex-ling Juan Carlos I, which will have to be ratified on 30 October. A person may be stripped of this medal if they "act or make statements contrary to the reasons that justified the award, or which would have stopped them from receiving the award had they carried them out at the time", according to the regulations for honours and distinctions. The council considers the ex-monarch's controversial actions in recent years are strong enough arguments to take this step.
This is stated in the report justifying the withdrawal of the medal, which refers to the participation, incognito, in a elephant hunt, despite being an endangered species, in Botswana in 2012; current king Philip VI's renouncement to his father's inheritance in March 2020 and the withdrawal of his financial allocation as a measure to distance himself from any of Juan Carlos's economic activities which might bring into question the legitimacy and ethics of the Crown; and his opaque departure from Spain this summer and establishment in the United Arab Emirates, a "totalitarian regime where arbitrary imprisonment, torture and forced disappearance of people are reported, under legislation that discriminates against women, criminalises homosexuality and which maintains abusive policies and labor exploitation of migrants," the City Council explained.
All this "calls into question his ethical and moral integrity as a citizen and as a public service", as well as the "integrity of his actions" while in office, the "management" of the budgets assigned to him or the "transparency and coherence" between his public discourse and his private activities. "These behaviours do not comply with the principle of exemplarity and encouragement to carry out actions that are beneficial to the community", the council believes, so the municipal honours are withdrawn.