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King Juan Carlos gives rare TV interview

King Juan Carlos of Spain has given a rare television interview on the eve of his 75th birthday.

In the interview, King Juan Carlos expressed his “hurt” at the number of young Spaniards forced to emigrate by economic difficulties.

The interview comes after a difficult year for the Spanish royal family.

King Juan Carlos has had to apologize for going elephant hunting in Botswana at the height of the financial crisis, while his son-in-law has been at the centre of a corruption investigation.

“One of the things that is most concerning and is in the mind of many Spaniards is the lack of jobs that leads millions of families to be unable to live with dignity and forces young people to leave Spain to look for work,” he said, adding that the situation “pained him”.

“It hurts me a lot,” he told Spanish national television station TVE.

The interview was a pitch to the Spanish people at a time when the popularity of the royal family is in decline.

King Juan Carlos of Spain has given a rare television interview on the eve of his 75th birthday 350x233 photo

King Juan Carlos of Spain has given a rare television interview on the eve of his 75th birthday

The mere fact that the King gave an interview shows that there is some concern in royal circles about the future of Spain’s royal family.

Republicanism is still a potent force in Spain, less than 40 years after the end of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

In the interview the king reminded his audience how he had smoothed the transition to democracy and how far, during his 37-year rule, the country had come.

“I would like to be remembered as the king who has united Spaniards, that with him democracy and the monarchy have been recovered,” he said, adding that “liberty” was a word for which he hoped he would be remembered.

There were no questions in the interview about the corruption scandal in which his son-in-law, a former handball international, now the Duke Of Palma, was mired. He has been accused of misusing funds donated to a foundation he administered, allegations he denies.

Nor was the King asked about the public apology he made after criticism of his trip to Africa while his country’s economic crisis was at its height.

A leading Spanish newspaper, El Pais, wrote in an editorial on Thursday that “the royal palace has launched in recent months a studious marketing operation to improve the image of the king”.

Just two weeks ago, King Juan Carlos had appealed to Spaniards to have confidence in themselves and their country in his annual Christmas speech.

“We cannot ignore that there is pessimism, and that its effects are felt in the social climate we are living in,” he said, after a year of mass street demonstrations and two general strikes.

Of all the measures to combat the crisis, he said “the main stimulus that will get us out of this crisis is called confidence”.

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Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.
  • ajarianne

    Well turning down the invitation to Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee over a political fight over Gibraltar when the Queen of Great Britain isn’t in a position to deal on her side – wasn’t well thought out. One catches more friends with honey than with vinegar. But no one ever said the Bourbon’s were the most thoughtfulof the Royal Houses. Closer to actual “governing” than the English – the Queen of Great Britain is more “in the loop” than her Spanish counterparts. Pissing her off – Spain should remember well – that other than Franco – there aren’t many revolutionary factions willing to put up with the inviobility of Monarchs. It’s well to go along to get along.