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
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.