Spanish king doing well after lung operation: palace

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Spain's King Juan Carlos I was recovering well Sunday from an operation to remove a benign growth on his lung and received Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the palace said.

The 72-year-old monarch underwent surgery in a Barcelona hospital on Saturday to remove the growth which doctors said showed no signs of malignancy.

"The king had a perfect night, progress continues to be very good," a representative of the royal house told AFP.

He received the prime minister in the morning after visits from his wife Queen Sofia and eldest daughter Princess Elena, the official said.

The king started a liquid diet on Saturday and was due on Sunday to begin respiratory physiotherapy.

Born on January 5, 1938, Juan Carlos Alfonso Victor Maria de Borbon y Borbon became king on November 22, 1975, two days after the death of general Francisco Franco.

He is considered a pillar of democratic Spain, having played a key role during the country's transition to democracy after Franco's long dictatorship and an attempted military coup in 1981.

© 2010 AFP

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