Ambassadors Present Credentials at Royal Palace

Today King Juan Carlos welcomed several new ambassadors to the Kingdom of Spain at the Royal Palace in Madrid.

King Juan Carlos with the Panamanian ambassador.
© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos

His Majesty received credentials from Roberto Eduardo Arango of Panama, Bakyt Dyussenbayev of Kazakhstan, Paulo Da Silva of Guinea-Bissau, Emmanuelle Restelli of San Marino and Russia’s Yuri P. Korchagin.

King, Queen Swear In New Bank Governor

Today King Juan Carlos presided over the swearing-in of new Bank of Spain governor Luis María Linde de Castro. The ceremony at Zarzuela Palace comes amid a planned European capital injection into the troubled Spanish banking system.

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

Luis María Linde de Castro swore allegiance to the King while touching a copy of the Constitution and the Bible. A crucifix was also present according to custom.

The Bible, property of Charles IV, was open to the Book of Numbers. The Constitution was open to the section on the economy.

Media reports noted the King’s comments: “What times!”

“Austerity Alone Will Not Save Europe”

King Juan Carlos is once again sounding off on the troubles in Europe and the extremely delicate Spanish economy.

In a visit to Chile yesterday, His Majesty said the problems in Europe are not economic but political. He talked about the robust nature of the continent’s finances compared to other places.

“Europe requires austerity and discipline,” he said. “But austerity alone will not save Europe.”

The King talked about the “unprecedented” reforms that the Spanish government has implemented in recent months. He said his country was starting to regain its competitiveness.

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

Don Juan Carlos met with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera. Like in Brazil, he took a swipe at Argentina by highlighting Chile’s commitment to the rule of law. Argentina recently expropriated a local branch of Spanish oil giant Repsol.

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

His Majesty today met with the leaders of Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Panama and Costa Rica. Media outlets are saying the King is back as Spain’s top champion.

“I am not at all tired,” he said, according to Spanish media.

Prince and Princess of Asturias at event in Navarre.

Other members of the Royal Family, including Price Felipe and Princess Letizia, have been “holding down the fort” taking care of public events in Spain while the King is away.

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.