For protesters King Juan Carlos’s abdication not enough
King Juan Carlos I of Spain is stepping down from his throne after 40 years. The televised announcement was made on Monday by the king himself and was also reiterated by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
But while many welcomed the prospect of having scandal-free Crown Prince Felipe as their next king, protesters were also demonstrating throughout Spain calling for the total end of the Spanish monarchy.
Protesters waved flags and pronounced ‘La monarquia es una porqueria!’ (the monarchy is garbage). The hashtag #ReferendumYa (referendum now) is also trending among Spanish Twitter users calling for a chang in the system of government.
One online petitioner in global petition website Avaaz.org commented ‘This is a historic opportunity to promote a broad public debate to help regenerate our democracy and determine the future of the monarchy.’
The Spanish monarchy in the past few years has been hit by criticisms because of allegations of extravagance and waste of funds at a time of high unemployment and economic crisis.
In 2012, an expensive private trip to Botswana and the king’s subsequent hip surgery sparked public outcry while money laundering scandals related to the youngest daughter Princess Cristina led to allegations of diversion of public funds.
These scandals have prompted the king to bare the royal family’s salaries early this year in an effort to appease angry citizens.
Next in line to the throne is the king’s son and heir Prince Felipe of Asturias, 46. The king said Felipe is ‘stable’ and has ‘the maturity, the preparation, and the sense of responsibility necessary’ to be the next generation’s king.
King Juan Carlos I explains reasons why he is abdicating the throne