Spain’s King Juan Carlos abdicates

King who helped smooth country’s transition to democracy in the 1970s after Franco era, to be succeeded by son Spain’s King Juan Carlos is abdicating after almost 40 years on the throne and his son Prince Felipe de Borbon will succeed him, the Spanish prime minister has announced. Juan Carlos, whose health is failing and has had a number of hip operations in recent years, is stepping down for personal reasons, Mariano Rajoy said on Monday. “His majesty, King Juan Carlos, has just communicated to me his will to give up the throne,” Rajoy said. “I found the king convinced that this is the best moment to change the head  of state in all normality and for the transition of the crown to the Prince of  Asturias (Prince Felipe),” he said. Prince Felipe, a  former Olympic yachtsman, has been relatively unscathed by the scandals that battered others in the family....

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