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King Juan Carlos of Spain abdicates

June 18, 2014, 21:00 UTC+3 MADRID
Crown Prince Felipe will be proclaimed the King of Spain on June 19
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© EPA/JAVIER LIZON

MADRID, June 18ю /ITAR-TASS/. Spain’s King Juan Carlos has abdicated the thrown on Wednesday, June 18, in favour of his son, Felipe, after almost a 39-year rule.

Juan Carlos was one of those who initiated the transition from the post-Franco authoritarian regime to a multi-party system in the country, elections at all levels, an independent judicial system and free expression of will by the people.

All these achievements were recorded in the Constitution of 1978 which fixed constitutional monarchy as a form of state system in Spain.

During Juan Carlos’ rule, the country made considerable progress in the development of healthcare, education, pension system and the protection of the rights of women, children and people with disabilities.

However, the authority of the king and his family has been dwindling lately, in part due to the scandal with his daughter, infanta Cristina, and her husband, former Olympic handball player Inaki Urdangarin, suspected of financial fraud which can result in their prosecution.

Other factors behind the abdication include the 76-year-old king’s health problems and the growing anti-monarchy sentiment in the country.

Crown Prince Felipe will be proclaimed the King of Spain on June 19, leader of the Parliament’s lower house Jesus Posada confirmed.

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