Felipe Becomes New King of Spain

 

Spain has a new king. Juan Carlos stepped down as monarch after almost 40 years as Spain’s head of state. He passed the crown on to his first son, 46-year old Felipe VI.  Juan Carlos became King of Spain after dictator Franco’s death in 1975. Juan Carlos played an important part in leading Spain to democracy after the totalitarian years of Generalissimo Franco’s reign.

The transition took place in Madrid where the new king and his wife Letizia appeared on the balcony of the Royal Palace and drove through the streets of the Spanish capital while thousands of Spaniards cheered them. The new monarch, Felipe, swore an oath and promised to respect Spain’s parliamentary monarchy.


The change in the monarchy comes at a time when Spain is going through difficult times. Many Spaniards are suffering from a weak economy and one out of four Spaniards are out of work. The popularity of the monarchy dipped after scandals hit the royal family. The king went on a luxury safari expedition when his country was in the middle of an economic crisis and Felipe’s brother-in-law is connected to a tax fraud scandal


Many people in Spain are against the monarchy and want a referendum on turning the country into a republic. In addition, the country faces separatist movements in Catalonia and the Basque province.

Felipe sworn in as king of Spain

Felipe , King of Spain - Ruben Ortega;

 

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Words

  • brother-in-law = here: the husband of your sister
  • capital = most important city of a country; where the government is
  • crown = circle made out of gold which a king or queen puts on their head
  • dip = go down
  • economy = the system by which a country’s products and goods  are produced and used
  • face = deal with
  • head of state = person who has the highest position in a country
  • in addition = also
  • monarch = king or queen
  • parliamentary monarchy = form of government in which the king or queen is the official head of state but laws are made by parliament
  • popularity = when something or someone is liked by many people
  • referendum = when people vote about an important topic
  • reign = rule
  • respect = look up to; take seriously
  • separatist movement = group of people who want to a region to become independent
  • step down = here: not to be a king any more
  • suffer = here: to be in a difficult situation
  • swear an oath = to make a promise before god
  • tax fraud = to commit a crime by not paying enough taxes to the government
  • totalitarian = people have no rights and are completely controlled by the government
  • transition = change