I used to think he hadn’t done a bad job restoring democracy to Spain after Franco.
His Greek wife Sofia is a perfect consort, and they had avoided most of the scandals and problems that have beset the British monarchy.
It’s a Catholic state but it seemed it was ok for Prince Felipe (heir to the throne) to marry a divorced journalist who was pretty popular with everyone, and natch, they managed to produce a couple of kids pretty quickly.
Not too clever when the husband of his (JC)’s younger daughter Cristina was charged in a fraud and embezzlement case.
But still that’s not his fault. What Inaki Urdangarin does is up to him, although marrying into a royal family would seem to carry a bit of a responsibility with it. Anyway, can’t be bothered to chase up the latest position on that one.
What is important is dear old JC. It seems he has been saying he can’t sleep at night because of concerns about Spain’s youth unemployment problem.
Hello JC! It’s not just youth, it is EVERYONE!
But still, when you can’t sleep at nights because of worries about your country’s unemployment problems, what do we all do? That’s right, we fuck off to Botswana to hunt elephants.
Here is a nice piccy from the web courtesy of whoever, not mine, but seems to be published all over the place.
Go on, look. Here we have an affluent European monarch who can’t sleep at nights, happily hunting elephants. In fact, if you look at this site below, you can see them with a few dead buffalos too. Doesn’t seem like the first time they have done it. What is it with royals and rich people that they need to blast the shit out of defenceless animals? What good does it do? Does it give someone a job in Spain? Does it fuck.
Words fail me.
Apparently, the Spanish media are really worried about his injury. He fell and broke his hip …
A palace spokesman said a surgeon operated on the king immediately on his return to Madrid overnight, but could not say exactly when the accident took place.
Spanish newspapers said Juan Carlos is a keen huntsman and has frequently visited Botswana, whose vast game reserves are considered prime elephant-hunting destinations.
The private trip was not listed on his agenda of official engagements and the palace declined to say what he was doing when he fell.
The palace said it would give a further update on his condition in the coming hours. Media reports said the king was likely to stay in hospital for 10 days.
Well, really, who cares? And the royal palace needs a better PR department too. Because when there are photos of kings with dead animals splashed all over the internet, saying it’s a private engagement ain’t good enough.
This is, of course, my nice reportage blog about life in Spain and Gib. But when I read garbage like this, it becomes a bit harder-hitting.
I’m going to quote in full from Revolting Europe – see how the royal family and the church get away lightly and the average person in the street struggles to get by:
The administration of Mariano Rajoy, elected last November in a landslide victory against the Socialists, revealed Tuesday details of one of the most draconian budgets anywhere in the West in recent times.
The government said it would make savings of €27 billion for the rest of 2012 from the central government budget, equivalent to around 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP). The figure includes tax rises and spending cuts of around €15 billion announced in December.
Adding in cuts to regional authorities, the total cuts amount to €42 billion, putting the cuts package as deeper than even those passed or planned in Greece, Portugal and Ireland, the country’s that were ‘bailed out’ the IMF-EU-ECB Troika.
Spending is to be cut by 16.9% across Spain’s ministries: education spending will be slashed by 22% with 37% cuts to pre-school and primary school budgets and 11% reduction in grants and other support to students; culture axed by 15%; health will be reduced by 6.8%; and social services axed by 6%.
Among those budgets that also faced sharp reductions are government employment schemes with €1.6 billion savings to be made and the public sector pay bill, as wages will be frozen.
Ordinary Spaniards, struggling with a wages squeeze and record 5 million unemployment, will also face a rise in electricity bills of 7% and of gas bills by 5% from this month.
Spain’s Royal Family got off lightly however, with just 2% reduction in budget, as did the Church that will face tiny cuts, maintaining huge subsidies worth as much as €11 billion annually via direct aid, exemptions from property taxation and other financial support.
Tax dodgers and mafia types, were also among the winners in this budget, as they will benefit from a tax amnesty whereby they wlll be able to anonymously declare previously illegally hidden capital on which they will pay a bargain 8-10% rate.
And despite some modifications to taxation that will increase an estimated corporation tax receipts by 22% this year, large companies will continue paying corporation tax of just 16.3%, compared to 20% for small companies and to 22% income tax.
The budget made no calls on banks despite them bringing the country to its knees with reckless lending that led to a housing boom and bust. The banking system recently received very generous government subsidies to assist in a merger and takeover process involving the struggling Cajas, the local savings banks most exposed to the now zombie property market. (Spanish banks have also swallowed billions of euros in near free loans from the European Central Bank as part of its two phase long-term refinancing operations in December and February.)
People, this is not a good time to be poor, unemployed, or an elephant in Botswana. However, if you are rich, titled, anything to do with a bank, a man in America (rather than a woman because everyone knows they should have no rights), then the world is your oyster. Or your elephant. Or even your buffalo as previously. Normal soft posts to resume shortly.