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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long article from El País in English about the King and recent events including hip surgery, lung tumor, corruption, elephants, Latin America - it's all here folks!

I have no particular interest in the monarchy itself, but what will happen when he steps down, or is forced to because of ill health will be very telling I believe.


The gravity of the situation | In English | EL PAÍS

On Botswana...
The accident was initially kept secret for 36 hours, until finally, when Juan Carlos had returned home and was about to undergo an operation on his hip, a brief press note was released. Any hopes that the affair would pass unnoticed soon proved ingenuous. The media seized on the key points - luxury safari, Botswana, hunting elephants at 15,000 euros a pop - and even dug up a photo from a previous excursion there showing the hapless monarch standing somewhat stiffly before a magnificent pachyderm that he had just pumped full of lead slumped head first against a tree. And all this in a week when Spain's borrowing rates went through the roof, and of course not long after the king, the honorary president of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund, had expressed his concern about the country's 50 percent unemployment rate among young people and called on the business community to put its shoulder to the wheel. Talk about the perfect storm.

On relations with South America
A new generation of leaders is emerging in Latin America that barely knows the king, and has little reason to respect him. The famous incident in 2007 when he told Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez to "shut up" may have raised smiles at home and in Europe and the United States, but failed to amuse the region's leaders, who are increasingly distanced from what was once the motherland. Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's joke about the similarity between the country's oil output curve and that of an elephant's trunk was a less-than-subtle hint that the king should keep out of the decision to seize Repsol's stake in YPF. Juan Carlos was in Botswana when the oil firm was renationalized.

The monarchy and politics
As his father did before him, this will mean reaching out to politicians whose party affiliations put them on the side of the anti-monarchists, a policy that angers many on the right, who see Juan Carlos as too close to the Socialist Party already. The future of Felipe relies on the continued support of the Socialist Party; the minute it starts to wane, there will be no stopping a widespread debate on the future of the monarchy. Felipe is well aware of the activities of the pro-Republican movement, he knows which town halls are controlled by the Communist Party-led United Left, and he has personally met its leaders, as well as kept abreast of anti-monarchy groups within the Socialist Party. His is a very different approach to his father's hail-fellow-well-met line: he is respectful, professional, and attentive, but there is no backslapping.
 

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He's also infamous for his extramarital affairs, including Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who accompanied him on the elephant slaughtering trip. I feel sorry for Sofia, she seems like a decent person.



Las infidelidades del rey Juan Carlos y la amargura de Sofía | Eco Republicano

So the King has extramarital affairs??

I had always assumed that was an essential qualification for the job.....;)

Whenever I read or hear the phrases' Your Majesty' 'Your Royal Highness'.....I wonder how intelligent human beings could possibly use such words to address other human beings.

Since the British Royal Family is barely distinguishable from Hollywood 'royalty' in its behaviour, I couldn't care less if the whole lot of them disappeared into a black hole.
Reading about the goings-on of the Spanish royals, the same applies.

Off with their heads...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Since the British Royal Family is barely distinguishable from Hollywood 'royalty' in its behaviour, I couldn't care less if the whole lot of them disappeared into a black hole.
Reading about the goings-on of the Spanish royals, the same applies.

Off with their heads...
As I said in the first post, I have no particular interest in the royal family of any country per se, but it should be realised that the Spanish royal family does still have some "power" real or otherwise. JC holds a different place in the history of Spain because he actually did something to change the path that his country was taking, unlike Elizabeth II who has always been on the sidelines when real decisions have been made.
The change in his influence in South American politics is something that has been noted world wide with the news from Argentina and Bolivia for example.
The scandal surrounding Iñaki Urdangarin, his son in law, which is getting nearer and nearer the king is also very important politically.
These are important political changes which will, and are, influencing Spain today. So, in order to grasp what is happening in today's Spain, the Royal family has to be taken into consideration. Liking them, or caring about what happens to them as people has nothing to do with it!

PS A flick through Hola is also recommended from time to time to gain insight into who's who and to understand, not the gossip, but who's moving the money in Spain nowadays, which family influences who. It's not just what's on the surface of these articles, it's the story behind that may interest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The WWF are going to vote on whether King JC should continue as president of the NGO

WWF to vote on king?s future as honorary president | In English | EL PAÍS

King Juan Carlos has occupied the post of WWF honorary president since 1968, but has played a limited role in its operations. However, the elephant-hunting incident put the NGO in a tight spot with many members decrying the fact that a devoted hunter could be honorary president of the environmental organization.
At the time the WWF sent a letter to the Royal Household saying his actions had “provoked enormous contempt among members and in public opinion in general against the hunting of elephants, even when it is carried out in a legal and regulated way.”
 

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The WWF are going to vote on whether King JC should continue as president of the NGO

WWF to vote on king?s future as honorary president | In English | EL PAÍS

King Juan Carlos has occupied the post of WWF honorary president since 1968, but has played a limited role in its operations. However, the elephant-hunting incident put the NGO in a tight spot with many members decrying the fact that a devoted hunter could be honorary president of the environmental organization.
At the time the WWF sent a letter to the Royal Household saying his actions had “provoked enormous contempt among members and in public opinion in general against the hunting of elephants, even when it is carried out in a legal and regulated way.”
You'd think he'd do the decent thing and jump before he's pushed. He could always say he's too busy and wants to spend more time with his family ...:rolleyes:
 

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As Pesky has pointed out Spain could still be living under a dictator. Franco passed it over to JC ,who made his own decision that Spain should be a democracy & he should step aside.In '81 when the colonel, whose name escapes me, took over the Cortes Generales, it was JC who prevented the military taking over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As Pesky has pointed out Spain could still be living under a dictator. Franco passed it over to JC ,who made his own decision that Spain should be a democracy & he should step aside.In '81 when the colonel, whose name escapes me, took over the Cortes Generales, it was JC who prevented the military taking over.
Antonio Tejero
 

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As Pesky has pointed out Spain could still be living under a dictator. Franco passed it over to JC ,who made his own decision that Spain should be a democracy & he should step aside.In '81 when the colonel, whose name escapes me, took over the Cortes Generales, it was JC who prevented the military taking over.
That's the popular story about what happened but historians like Paul Preston and Ian Gibson have looked at the detail. JC delayed for more than twenty hours before making a statement against the coup by Tejero in 81. He said nothing until the coup had already failed. Similarly, the transition to democracy wasn't at all the decision of JC but an inevitable accommodation to changes in civil society. Already for ten years, the effects on social normal from tourism, especially on the costas but also in Barcelona and Madrid, were making the old dictatorial regime untenable. Similarly there were huge commercial pressures. The military negotiated a regime change before it happened anyway. JC's role if anything was peripheral. His constitutional role is part of the transition compromise with the right wing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's the popular story about what happened but historians like Paul Preston and Ian Gibson have looked at the detail. JC delayed for more than twenty hours before making a statement against the coup by Tejero in 81. He said nothing until the coup had already failed. Similarly, the transition to democracy wasn't at all the decision of JC but an inevitable accommodation to changes in civil society. Already for ten years, the effects on social normal from tourism, especially on the costas but also in Barcelona and Madrid, were making the old dictatorial regime untenable. Similarly there were huge commercial pressures. The military negotiated a regime change before it happened anyway. JC's role if anything was peripheral. His constitutional role is part of the transition compromise with the right wing.
Yep, true enough. But, JC as the highest ranking of all still had the the power to go this way or that way, whatever is said. Of course he took some time before making a statement. It would have been extremely foolish not to have done!
JC is not as pure as the driven snow, history is not black or white, few of us are as naive as we seem:)
 

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I agree but I think in this case, the establishment has over-promoted the idea that JC is some critical locus of power. His role has been there to keep the military sweet during the transition. It's much less clear now that he serves any real function at all. The military have no need of him and he's increasingly an embarrassment to congress. I suppose the litmus test is whether or not he could pull the generals with him if he decided to do something. I'd say he couldn't any longer. If he did decide to go his own way, he'd be replaced as head of the armed forces. As long as he toes the line, he can keep going on his jollies. What's far more worrying is the considerable francoist residue embedded in the judiciary and civil service and they could still pose a threat to democracy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree but I think in this case, the establishment has over-promoted the idea that JC is some critical locus of power. His role has been there to keep the military sweet during the transition. It's much less clear now that he serves any real function at all. The military have no need of him and he's increasingly an embarrassment to congress. I suppose the litmus test is whether or not he could pull the generals with him if he decided to do something. I'd say he couldn't any longer. If he did decide to go his own way, he'd be replaced as head of the armed forces. As long as he toes the line, he can keep going on his jollies. What's far more worrying is the considerable francoist residue embedded in the judiciary and civil service and they could still pose a threat to democracy.
Well of course, like all European Royal Families
What the Spanish Royal Family needs to do is get a publicity agency in like the British royals did when Prince Charles married Camilla and much can be resolved!

I do think JC is making a mistake in holding out on the throne though. The sooner they get Felipe in the better for them. The image of the King being a womaniser and a lover of the good life has always been there, but now with the elephant shooting and the business dealings of his SIL Iñaki more and more likely to show him in a bad light too, he should get out while the going is good.
However Elisabeth II seems to have played things right. Her popularity is experiencing a boom due to her jubilee, and her grandson's wedding.
I wonder what, especially the UK, will be like without a public royal family. I mean the royal family would still be there, but without a public role, just another wealthy family. Will it happen?
 

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Well, Buck House could be turned into a children's home, Balmoral could be an outward bound centre, Cornwall could be liberated (they'd like that!), Prince Philip could be exiled to Sark (though what have they done to deserve it, I don't know) and Charles could be let loose to talk to the trees and sell snake oil at country fairs. Anyone left could apply for benefits in the usual way and interview for supermarket shelf-stacking internships. Sorted. Oh, of course, tourism would be fine because they'd still hold the horse guards parade, and show people the palace frontage, Tower of London, etc. But they save a few hundred million a year. :)
 

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Well, Buck House could be turned into a children's home, ( good point ifyou can find somone to pay for upkeep sand heating billsBalmoral could be an outward bound centre you ever been to Balmoral? in winter it would be a very effective way of cutting the numbers in Buck house children's home, Cornwall could be liberated (they'd like that!), also bad idea,because we would have to pay import duty on cider Prince Philip could be exiled to Sark (though what have they done to deserve it, I don't know) shouldn't that be repatriated to Corfu where he can add to the Greek financial crisis and Charles could be let loose to talk to the trees and sell snake oil at country fairs I have a soft spot for Charles...it's at the bottom of the mariana trench. Anyone left could apply for benefits in the usual way can't be done fregie has that market cornered and interview for supermarket shelf-stacking internships. Sorted. Oh, of course, tourism would be fine because they'd still hold the horse guards parade, and show people the palace frontage, Tower of London, etc. But they save a few hundred million a year. :)

would they?
 

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Antonio Tejero
Where is he now ?

Oh, I've found him.
"Tejero was the last of the coup leaders to be released from jail on 2 December, 1996, having then served 15 years in the military prison at Alcalá de Henares. He lives in Torre del Mar in the Province of Málaga. In 2006 he wrote to the newspaper Mellila Hoy, calling for a referendum on the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) proposals for giving a new measure of autonomy to Catalonia.In 2009, Tejero's son, Ramón Tejero Díez, wrote to the conservative newspaper ABC describing his father as a sincere religious man who was trying to do his best for Spain."
(from Wiki.)
 

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The WWF votes today on whether to dump JC as its honorary president.

I bet you an elephant's tusk they don't.
The WWF Spain has decided to remove the honorary chairmanship of King Juan Carlos ... The decision was taken by 226 votes in favor and 13 against.
I would rather not have an elephant's tusk if you don't mind. :)
 
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