Generalissimo Francisco Franco is Still Dead
In related news, the man who replaced him is stepping down.
After nearly 40 years on the throne, King Juan Carlos I of Spain will be stepping down, the country’s prime minister said Monday.
Crown Prince Felipe, 46, will succeed his father, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced in nationally televised address.
Rajoy did not offer a reason for the king’s planned abdication. The king is expected to issue a statement later Monday.
Spaniards generally hold Juan Carlos, 76, in high regard for his service to the nation and his defense of democracy after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.
But the king’s popularity took a hit in 2012 over a controversial elephant-hunting trip to Africa while the nation was mired in a deep economic crisis.
The focus of his reign was to bring about reconciliation between Spaniards of different political persuasions, and from different regions.
Many consider the king’s finest hour to be his decisive stand to halt a right-wing military coup in 1981, when he went on television to say that the monarchy would not tolerate attempts to interrupt democracy by force.
Next thing you know, they’ll dispense with kings altogether.
You’d think so, wouldn’t you?
But, in addition to the Brits and the Spaniards, the Danes, the Dutch, the Belgians, the Norwegians, and the Swedes (not to mention those places like Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, and Monaco) all have Royal Families and the people really don’t seem much interesting in getting rid of them.
Yeah Doug, but they are cheap entertainment compared to Democrats and Republicans.
How wonderful it was that L Brent Bozell, Jr lived long enough in his miserable life to see Franco completely rejected by the people of Spain. Well done! Juan Carlos I!!
And here’s an oddity: Great Britain, Spain, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Norway, and Sweden are among the most developed, most progressive, and freest nations on Earth with the highest standard of living, the lowest levels of income inequality, and the happiest populations. (And we can’t forget Canada, which is also a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth as head of state, or Japan, which has an “Emperor” but is not an empire).
For a bizarre variety of reasons, it seems that in the 21st century at least, if you want to live in a free, progressive, and egalitarian society, choose a monarchy.*
(*offer not applicable to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Thailand or Nepal).
Also forgot to add Australia and New Zealand, both of which, like Canada, are constitutional monarchies with Queen Elizabeth of Britain functioning as head of state.
@Rafer Janders: Spain is at 25% unemployment
@Doug Mataconis: they make good tourist attractions i guess!? i could care less about the washed up relics of totalitarianism.
Speaking of the Brits, if Scotland votes for independence in a few months, will they be bringing back the House of Stuarts?
@mike shupp: Whee. That would be interesting. Do we have any around or are we stuck with the Bonnie Prince Charlie/Fiona MacDonald believers? (If forget where I read it–maybe in Florence King’s “Confession of a Failed Southern Lady”–but there is a totally batwitted contingent of Southern geneologists who attempt to trace their roots back to a putative love affair/child between Prince Charles and Fiona MacDonald. The fact that no evidence exists for a love affair, let alone a child, doesn’t stop them.)
I take it, of course, that if we’re going back to the Stuarts–well, who do we have? James I, definitely of Scotland, takes over English throne on Elizabeth I’s death. Charles I, he who got his head chopped off, then the Restoration with Charles II, then James II, surplanted by William of Orange. Do we allow claimants who married into the family or are we going to insist on a direct blood tie? Comments from the peanut gallery?
This could get extremely amusing, with claimants from all over Europe.