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King Juan Carlos of Spain abdicates
King Juan Carlos of Spain has announced his intention to abdicate, after nearly 40 years on the throne. "A new generation must be at the forefront… younger people with new energies," the 76-year-old king said in a televised address. His son, Crown Prince Felipe, 45, will take over the throne.
For much of his reign, Juan Carlos was seen as one of the world’s most popular monarchs, but recently many Spaniards have lost confidence in him. His reputation has been tarnished by a long-running corruption investigation into the business dealings of his daughter and her husband.
King Juan Carlos, 76, has had health problems in recent years. Support for the king fell further when it was discovered he had been on a lavish elephant hunting trip to Botswana in April 2012, in the middle of Spain’s financial crisis.
The king said in a televised address that it was time for a "new era" in which a new generation could take on the transformations and reforms required. He said his son, Prince Felipe, had the maturity and preparation to be king.
Left-wing groups have called for protests in support of a referendum on the future of the monarchy, with the El Pais newspaper quoting police as saying some 20,000 people have gathered in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square. Several thousand people were also reported to have gathered in Barcelona in the Placa Catalunya square, some carrying large Catalan flags.
Juan Carlos took the throne on the death of General Francisco Franco, the right-wing dictator who ruled for 36 years after his victory over Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. The king became Spain’s first crowned head of state for 44 years. But he soon ignored Franco’s supporters and ushered in a new system of parliamentary monarchy.
intention – szándék
to abdicate – lemondani
at the forefront – az élvonalban
to take over – átvenni
reign – uralkodás
to lose confidence in – elveszti valakibe vetett bizalmát
to be tarnished – beszennyezik
support – támogatás
lavish – fényűző
financial crisis – pénzügyi válság
required – szükséges, kívánt
maturity – érettség
left-wing – baloldali (politika)
referendum – népszavazás
flag – zászló
right-wing – jobboldali
head of state – államfő
to ignore – figyelmen kívül hagyni
parliamentary monarchy – parlamentáris monarchia
True or false?
1. Crown Prince Felipe has already taken over the throne.
2. The Spanish king was crowned after the rule of General Franco.
3. Right-wing protesters would like a referendum in Spain.
4. The king’s daughter was involved in a corruption scandal.
5. Spain has been hit hard by economic crisis.
answers: 1-F 2-T 3-F 4-T 5-T