Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Left Masthead
November 27, 2015
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Forget Islamic State: Humanity Itself Is at Stake
U.N. Counts the Human Cost of Climate Change

First Bite: How We Learn to Eat
The Painting That Saved My Family From the Holocaust
Avenue of Mysteries

Truthdig Bazaar
The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

Steven Kotler (Author), Jeff Cummings (Reader)


By J.R. Moehringer

more items

Ear to the Ground
Print this item

King Juan Carlos of Spain Is Bidding ‘Adios’ to His Throne

Posted on Jun 2, 2014

    Princess Letizia and Crowned Prince of Spain Felipe, left, stand next to King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia in front of the Royal Palace in Madrid. Shelly Wall /

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced that King Juan Carlos, a man who played a crucial role in his country’s transition into democracy, has expressed his desire to renounce his place as the monarch of Spain. The surprising news comes after a recent plummet in popularity due to family scandals and the widening gap between the Spanish royals and their struggling people. Before the recent turmoil, however, the king had been wildly adored due to the steps he took in the wake of dictator Francisco Franco’s death to ensure Spaniards had a say in their government.

He will be succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Felipe. While the prince’s reputation has so far remained unscathed, questions about how the nation will respond to another monarch and whether there will be pressure to establish a republic have arisen. Many have already taken to social media to express their desires that Spain, which has been a republic twice before in its history, move toward installing a third republic.

BBC News:

When Juan Carlos took over from General Franco, he became Spain’s first crowned head of state for 44 years. But he soon ignored Franco’s supporters, who wanted an extension to autocratic rule, and ushered in a new system of parliamentary monarchy. As the years went on the king involved himself less in day-to-day politics, and became more of a figurehead.

He has been credited as a stabilising force for independence-minded areas such as Catalonia and the Basque region, and he also helped defuse an attempted coup in 1981….For much of his reign, Juan Carlos was seen as one of the world’s most popular monarchs, but recently many Spaniards have lost confidence in him. His reputation has been tarnished by a long-running corruption investigation into his daughter and her husband.

Support for the king fell further when it was discovered he had been on a lavish elephant hunting trip to Botswana in April 2012, in the middle of Spain’s financial crisis…[Prime Minister Rajoy] gave no reason for the decision, saying the monarch himself would explain, but Juan Carlos’ health is failing and he has had a number of hip operations in recent years.

[Now] the main concern is whether they will be able to save a damaged institution…On social networks, people are already asking whether it is time for Spain to become a republic. Some parties are calling for constitutional reform and a popular vote to pave the way for this change.

Read more

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

More Below the Ad


Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network

Like Truthdig on Facebook