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Spanish Taxman Confuses Princess’ ID for Another's in Corruption Investigation

[All links lead to Spanish-language pages unless otherwise noted.]

A supposed administrative error by the Spanish tax agency falsely attributing the sale of 13 estates to the Princess Cristina as part of the ongoing corruption case against her husband has Internet users taunting the agency for its clumsy mistake.

The main person accused in the so-called “Case Nóos” is Iñaki Urdangarín, the King's son-in-law, but Urdangarín's wife, Princess Cristina, could also be implicated in the case if she cooperated in the fiscal crimes of her husband.

A report requested recently by Judge José Castro from the Spanish Tax Agency, which details the patrimonial activities of Princess Cristina, attributes the buying and selling of 13 estates carried out between 2005 and 2006 to the princess. But the agency later released a statement declaring the information in the report to be false due to an administrative error. The tax minister explained in the statement that the error was due to a mistaken attribution of the princess’  national ID number, or DNI, given that the number on her document coincides with the number of others. An unlikely justification, considering that each DNI is unique and that the ID document of the King's daughter consists of just two digits and a letter: “14Z”.

While the media tried to decipher whether or not the error was committed by the exchequer, Internet users made fun of the Spanish administration system and its explanation. At the same time, users expressed their doubts about the quality of the judicial investigation.

These have been some of the comments made online about the supposed error, making “DNI” a trending topic on Twitter:

‏@moedetriana: La infanta tiene un DNI de dos cifras y unos ingresos de ocho y nosotros al revés.

‏@moedetriana: The Princess has an ID of two figures and an income of eight, for the rest of us it's the other way around.

‏@LaEtxebarria: Voto porque en nuestra próxima declaración de la renta todos pongamos el número 14 . Un error lo tiene cualquiera.

DNI

‏@LaEtxebarria: I vote that in our next tax declaration we all put our DNI number as 14. It's an easy mistake to make.

@Cresleaks: La Infanta nos ha hecho la 13/14 (13 fincas con el DNI 14) eh eh lo habéis pillao #Nivelaco

@Cresleaks: The Princess has given us 13/14 (13 estates with a DNI of 14) Hey! You've been caught!#Nivelaco

Many, including numerous journalists, expressed their skepticism of the possibility that the Exchequer made a genuine mistake:

@iescolarm: Probabilidad de nacer infanta: una entre 23 millones. Probabilidad del “error” de su DNI: una entre diez quintillones http://kcy.me/mvxs 

@iescolar: Probabilty of being born a Princess: one in 23 million. Probability of an “error” on a ID card: one in quintillionhttp://kcy.me/mvxs

And others related it to other current corruption cases:

‏@Fredy_Barragan: Yo creo que lo de Messi es un error en el DNI, como la Infanta Cristina. No hay otra explicación.

‏@Fredy_Barragan: I think Messi [en] has an error on his DNI, just like Princess Cristina. There's no other explanation.

@antoniosilvaweb: Lo del DNI de la infanta es error de Hacienda. Lo de Blesa es error del juez. Lo de seguir aguantando a estos golfos, sí es error nuestro.

@antoniosilvaweb: The error on the Princess’ DNI is the Exchequer's fault. In Blesa's case [en]  it's the judge's fault. That we carry on putting up with these louts is all our fault.

Some Internet users commented on the news with photo montages:

Image from blog Skakeo. "Ahh, I confused my DNI with the Princess' and I've completely messed it up."

Image from blog Skakeo. “13 administrative errors anyone could make: ‘Ahh, I confused my DNI with the Princess’ and I've completely messed it up.'”

Published by El Jueves magazine. "Treasury Department we are all stupid."

Published by El Jueves magazine. “Treasury Department we are all stupid.”

In Spain, corruption cases are testing the patience of the citizens who, at the same time, are being submitted to austerity measures put in place by the government. A large part of the country's institutions are under suspicion of corruption. In any case, the reactions on the Internet show that Spaniards still react with humour in the face of such news.

However, they also question whether justice is equal for everybody. Luis Piedrahita wrote a message on Twitter about the debate. Just 40 minutes later, it had been retweeted 600 times:

@PiedrahitaLuis: Mientras la justicia imputa y desimputa, encarcela y desencarcela, culpa y exculpa, España espera y desespera.

@PiedrahitaLuis: While the justice system accuses and defends, jails and frees, blames and excuses, Spain hopes and despairs.

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