King Bullish on Spanish Economy

King Juan Carlos expressed optimism about the troubled Spanish economy amid talks in Europe about a bank rescue.

“The Spanish economy has solid foundations,” the King said said Monday. “Our public debt is lower than other European Union countries.”

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Don Juan Carlos made the comments during a visit to Brazil, where he led a large delegation of business leaders.

Spain is a top foreign investor in Brazil and the Spanish government wants to capitalize on that country’s growth.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

The King, on his first foreign trip in months, met with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at Planalto Palace. She hosted a lunch in his honor at Itamaraty Palace.

His Majesty reminded Rousseff about the upcoming Iberoamerican summit in Cádiz. The Monarch is trying to round up as many Latin American leaders to attend.

The King’s next stop is Chile.

In Crutches and Limping But Still Strong

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, accompanied by Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia, reviewed a military parade and other demonstrations during the official commemoration of Spanish Armed Forces Day at the Plaza Mayor in Valladolid.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Almost 200 events were planned starting yesterday all around Spain and in the North African enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta to honor those who died or served in the different military branches. The Royal Family also visited with family members of the fallen. Spain has offered military support to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Spanish press is talking up the Monarch’s reappearance in public after his hip surgery and noted his difficulty walking. Journalists noted that the King remained standing up during the ceremonies.

Don Juan Carlos quipped, “Let’s see if you would have been able to do it.”

Defense Minister Pedro Morenés noted Spain’s relatively low spending on defense and this year’s more austere celebrations because of the economic crisis. Still, there were some anti-monarchist protests.

Click here for more, including video, from El País.

Click here for Spanish Television coverage.

Prince, Princess Tour Portugal

Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia on Friday finished a three day official visit to Portugal where they met with political, business, scientific and cultural leaders.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Their Royal Highnesses arrived on Wednesday and visited Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva and his wife at Belém palace.

Delegations from both countries then worked to strengthen the bilateral relationship between both Iberian countries.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

Portuguese leaders also hosted an official dinner for Don Felipe and his wife at Quelúz Palace.

Prince and Princess with Portuguese Prime Minister Passos Coelho and his wife.

The Prince called Portugal a “beloved country” and mentioned his family’s ties to the place. His grandfather, Don Juan de Borbón y Battenberg, the Count of Barcelona, lived in exile in Portugal during the Franco years.