And you think you've had a bad year?
Spaniards are openly asking if they want a monarch at all.
With 25% of the populace unemployed, why should they continue to fund King Juan Carlos and his family? they wonder. Taxpayers cough up $11-million a year for the privilege. Young Spaniards under 25, almost half of whom are out of work, no longer seem to care about the king’s efforts during Spain’s transition to democracy.
Now the monarch, 74, has been exposed as a philanderer after he fell and broke his hip during a $52,000 African safari. His subjects learned he had been accompanied not by the queen, but a German blond some decades his junior and his “constant companion.”
“I’m sorry. I was wrong and it won’t happen again,” he said in a brief televised statement.
The incident caps an annus horribilis for the Spanish Royal Family.
Last fall, the king’s son-in-law, Inaki Urdangarin, was accused of corruption. There are also reports of emails implicating the monarch himself in the unsavoury business dealings and the prosecutor in charge of the case is said to be poised to investigate further.
Over Easter, the king’s 13-year-old grandson shot himself in the foot with a shotgun, even though by law in Spain you must be 14 to handle a gun. (The incident was chillingly reminiscent of the 1956 tragedy when Juan Carlos, then 18, accidentally shot and killed his younger brother Alfonso.)
Helene Zuber at Der Spiegel Online says the latest revelations could not come at a worse time.