Spain newspapers publish special editions on abdication

2nd June 2014, Comments 0 comments

Spanish newspapers published special editions on Monday to report on King Juan Carlos's surprise announcement that he would abdicate in favour of his son Prince Felipe.

"The monarch who smoothed the path to democracy has given up the crown to further its modernisation," top-selling centre-left daily El Pais wrote in a front page editorial titled "A necessary king".

"Prince Felipe will now have to win the confidence of Spaniards, building on qualities shown by his father and facilitating the modernisation that Spain urgently needs," it added.

The newspaper, like all of its rivals, reprinted the entire text of the 76-year-old king's televised address to the nation in which he said he wanted to hand over to "a younger generation" after several turbulent years.

Conservative daily newspaper ABC put out a 48-page edition dedicated entirely to the king's announcement, reprinting an article which Felipe wrote about his father in 2000 along with dozens of photos taken during his nearly 40-year reign.

"The king assures in his historical farewell speech that he always sought 'the well-being of all Spaniards'," it wrote on its front page below a photo of the king and his son wearing military uniforms and giving a salute.

"Thank you, Juan Carlos," rival conservative newspaper La Razon headlined on the front page of its 48-page special edition, below a photo of the king giving his televised address.

On its back page it published a photo of Felipe, 46, wearing a black suit and red tie, above the headline: "Felipe VI, the future is yours."

The newspaper published an analysis by a psychologist of the king's body language during his televised address and reprinted the full text of a rare television interview he gave to public broadcaster RTVE on his 75th birthday.

"Felipe VI will have to revitalise the monarchy," centre-right daily El Mundo headlined on the front page of its special edition which included 15 pages dedicated to the royal abdication.

The king is credited with smoothing Spain's transition to democracy after the death of long-time dictator General Francisco Franco in 1975 and was widely respected for most of his nearly four decades on the throne.

But anger over a secret luxury elephant-hunting trip to Botswana in 2012, when one in four Spaniards was out of work, and a corruption scandal centred on his youngest daughter Princess Cristina and her husband Inaki Urdangarin, hurt his standing.

© 2014 AFP

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