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New poll shows high disapproval for the self inflicted exile of King Juan Carlos of Spain


A new poll for one of the most pro monarchy newspapers in Spain show that over half of those who took part disapprove of the departure of Juan Carlos I from the country he ruled for almost forty years. And 60% those asked believe that his decision harms the present monarch. The poll published last week by the newspaper ABC is not good news for the Spanish monarchy.

More than half of those who responded, 56.2 %, consider the decision of the former monarch, Juan Carlos, to reside outside of Spain to be wrong. Only one in four respondents, 25.4 %, agrees with his departure while 11.9 % said they were indifferent to the move. Only 23.8 % says that they think the departure of King Juan Carlos will benefit his son and successor, King Felipe VI.

The poll also found that the majority of respondents still regard the legacy of King Juan Carlos as positive, despite his departure amid allegations of financial corruption. published in recent months. However, support for his legacy decreases among the youngest and increases among the oldest respondents.

Those most critical of the previous monarch are those under 29 years of age, who did not experience the transition to a democracy in Spain from Franco to King Juan Carlos. According to the ABC-survey, 59 % of people below 29 years consider that the legacy of the former Monarch is negative for Spain. Only 33 percent of those under the age of 29 rate his legacy as positive.

However, as the age of the respondents increases, support for the legacy of Juan Carlos also increases. From the age of 30, there are more who defend him than those who criticize him. ABC’s poll shows 49 % aged between 30 and 44 years old consider his legacy positive, compared to 46 % who rate it as negative. Of the people who are older than 45 years old, 57 % rate the former Kings legacy as positive.

While this survey shows that support for former monarch Juan Carlos is declining, it is only a week since a survey shows that support for King Felipe is strengthening.

King Juan Carlos announced he was leaving Spain on August 3rd 2020, having already quit the country. His move came as criticism intensified over allegations of corruption. Days before, Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, had described the claims as ”disturbing”. Juan Carlos ruled Spain between 1975 and 2014, abdicating in favour of Felipe VI on June 19th 2014.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.