“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.

News Bites

On Thursday King Juan Carlos visited the Bosnian community of Mostar to dedicate a Plaza and monument to Spanish service members who participated and died in the peacekeeping mission. More than 40,000 soldiers and civil guards served in Bosnia  and Herzegovina over the past two decades under NATO and the European Union flags, the Royal Household said.

This week His Majesty also handed out the journalism awards named in his honor and the Don Quijote prize for the best Spanish language journalistic work. Writers and broadcasters from the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America are eligible. Queen Sofia was on hand.

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

Plus, the King is scheduled to visit Chile in June, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy confirmed, according to The Santiago Times.