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Spaniards rename streets named after ex-king Juan Carlos I | Europe and Europeans: News and Analytics | DW

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In Spain, a marketing campaign started to rename the streets of the cities named after King Juan Carlos I, who since 1975 was the top of the Spanish state, and in 2014 ceded the throne to his son, King Philip VI. True, this marketing campaign doesn’t concern all 637 municipalities the place there are such streets, however solely these the place radical left forces or regional nationalists – Basque, Catalan, Valencian and Galician – are in energy. They clarify their actions by accusations of corruption, which have lately been voiced towards the ex-monarch. Both the accusations themselves and the associated renaming are controversial in Spanish society.

King’s Avenue renamed in honor of March 8







The pioneer of the renaming was Vitoria, the capital of the Basque autonomy. Here, due to the efforts of nationalists – supporters of Basque independence – Juan Carlos I Avenue is now named in honor of International Women’s Day. One of the central highways of Gijón, crucial metropolis of Asturias, has additionally been renamed Street 8 March. The final change was initiated by the left-wing populist Podemos celebration. She additionally carried out an identical resolution relating to the avenue within the oldest metropolis within the nation – Cadiz.

At the initiative of the Valencian nationalists, the previous road names disappeared in cities akin to Puerto de Sagunto and Vila Hoyosa within the Valencian Autonomy, in addition to in some smaller cities. The press stories that within the coming weeks MPs from Podemos and nationalists in Santiago de Compostela, Logroño, Mostoles, Segovia, Vigo, Murcia, Zaragoza and so forth will give you the thought of ​​the identical renaming.

Juan Carlos – not prosecuted, however already responsible?

Meanwhile, Juan Carlos, who’s now 82, has not been formally charged, mentioned Carlos Pozo, professor of political science on the University of Madrid, in an interview with DW. And he recalled that the “newspaper reproaches” of corruption are primarily based on the supplies of the case of the previous king’s mistress, citizen of the Federal Republic of Germany Corinna Larsen. The Geneva prosecutor’s workplace took an interest within the origin of her capital of $ 65 million, positioned in one of many Swiss banks. Larsen claims that the cash was donated to her by Juan Carlos, and the king inherited from the Saudi monarch.

Juan Carlos I, now 82, fled Spain beneath a hail of criticism

The accusations circulated within the press that the previous king allegedly acquired this cash as a bribe for a contract for the development of the Medina-Mecca railway, in line with Carlos Pozo, are “absurd.” After all, the Saudis didn’t have to bribe somebody – the Spaniards achieved a profitable contract in the middle of a contest with building firms from different international locations.

And the cash, in line with the entourage of the previous Spanish monarch, was introduced to him by the late Saudi King Abdullah “as an indication of brotherly friendship”, furthermore, lengthy earlier than the development of the railway. This model, in line with Poso, seems to be believable, given Juan Carlos’ longstanding ties with the Saudi dynasty.

The logic of supporters and opponents of renaming

However, such arguments don’t persuade supporters of renaming. “The former king doesn’t deserve any respect, not to mention the streets in his honor,” mentioned DW Vicente Diaz, a member of the management of the Podemos Party department within the province of Madrid. In his phrases, “the conduct of Juan Carlos as head of state was not moral, he used his place for private enrichment.” So Podemos intends to hunt additional renaming, Diaz assured.

Professor Poso disagrees with this place. He famous that the ruling Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSWP) is against the renaming, to not point out the main opposition events: the center-right Citizens, the conservative People’s Party and the national-conservative Golos celebration. Pozo additionally defined the place of regional nationalists – supporters of the division of Spain, for whom the monarchy is “a logo of the hated state unity.” As for Podemos, the professor added, “professing radical leftist concepts, it doesn’t settle for the monarchy as such.”

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