As Spaniards grapple with severe austerity measures and 24 percent unemployment, their king is dealing with a different kind of pain — extreme embarrassment over public outrage upon his return from an elephant hunt in Africa that cost nearly $60,000, or more than twice the average salary in Spain. And the Spanish public only found out about the trip because he broke his hip — hence the recent surgery — and had to be airlifted home. The Royal Palace confirmed that this is the first time a Spanish king has ever said he's sorry — at least publicly — for anything. But it's not enough for Rafa Lucia, a social worker smoking in the rain outside a Madrid library. He's been jobless for months. The government cut his local school's budget by 30 percent. And the Royal Palace's budget? "They cut just 2 percent. And now this. It's like, OK, so the government doesn't cut [their budget], and now he's spending the money in Africa killing elephants," Lucia says. Adding Insult To Injury Spaniards can't decide which would be worse — whether their king might have spent public money on his jaunt to Botswana last week, or whether it was paid for by an Arab businessman courting favor, as some reports say. Either way, there are calls for the king's abdication.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Fallout Continues Over Juan Carlos' Elephant Hunting Trip
What an idiot. Read the full story on this NPR page...