King hails the Spaniards on anniversary of reign
22 November 2005, ADEJE — King Juan Carlos said on the 30th anniversary of his reign that best thing about his three decades leading the country have been "the Spaniards themselves".
22 November 2005
ADEJE — King Juan Carlos said on the 30th anniversary of his reign that best thing about his three decades leading the country have been "the Spaniards themselves".
The king promised to continue working for their benefit as long as he is able.
The monarch was speaking from Tenerife, the largest of Spain's Canary Islands.
Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were in the Canaries for a concert on Tuesday evening commemorating the anniversary.
Responding the questions from reporters, the 67-year-old king said that on balance the previous three decades have been "very positive" for Spain.
He vowed to continue "supporting and working for Spain as long as I am physically able to do so".
A poll earlier this week cast doubt on the future of the royal household.
The poll, conducted by the Spanish daily El Mundo, said younger voters would rather live in a republic.
It found almost a quarter of Spaniards considered themselves republicans.
There was a 50 percent rise in the number of republicans in the past five years, with the biggest group coming from the 18 to 29-year-old range.
A fall in support among the young could spell trouble in the future for what had been considered a secure and popular monarchy.
Nearly four out of 10 young voters defined themselves as republicans - slightly more than those who said they were monarchists.
It was the first time in 30 years that polls had produced such a result.
The result was not so worrying for King Juan Carlos - who maintains the respect of even diehard republicans after helping usher in democracy following the death of dictator General Francisco Franco in 1975.
Both the king and his son, Crown Prince Felipe, are still popular as individuals, with only 4 percent of Spaniards holding a poor opinion of the former and 6 percent disliking the latter.
Prince Felipe will succeed his father, but some have suggested the king should abdicate early to give his son a good start.
The decline in popularity of the monarchy comes despite self-censorship on royal matters by Spain's press, which contrasts with its eagerness to report scandals involving other European royalty.
The Royal family was in the Canary Islands, where some low-key celebrations will be held on Tuesday to mark the 30th anniversary.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news