As Spain’s King Juan Carlos is in hospital recovering from a hip replacement, there is growing anger about his trip to Botswana at a time when the country is facing severe economic problems.
The visit would have remained a secret if he had not hurt himself and needed to be flown back to Madrid for urgent treatment.
However, the criticism from Spain’s politicians is less scathing than the press.
“The king, like everybody else, has the right to have a private life, but it’s true that at this specific moment (referring to the economic crisis), there is some things that the Spanish people don’t understand, and this is one of those things,” said the President of the Basque regional Government Patxi López.
Though he was not hurt while hunting elephant, King Juan Carlos took a similar trip to Botswana in 2006.
Spain’s royal family was again in the spotlight after the King’s 13-year-old grandson Felipe Juan Froilan accidentally shot himself in the foot last week.
As the country’s Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said Spain is probably in its second recession in three years, and with spending cuts and tax increases of 27 billion euros on the cards, a corruption scandal surrounding the King’s son-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarín, has further tarnished the image of the royal household.
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