Spain's King Juan Carlos I will step down from the throne, he announced today. Juan Carlos, born while the Spanish royal family was in exile, succeeded nationalist strongman Francisco Franco as the head of state in 1975 (on Franco’s orders) and guided the country’s transition back to democracy. In modern times, though, with the Spanish economy in trouble (unemployment is at 26%) and the concept of being chosen for political leadership by God becoming anachronistic, Carlos likely realized that financing extravagant leisure lifestyles for an entire extended family of jobless dopes was probably a misuse of resources that could be better spent almost anywhere el—wait, hang on.
Crown Prince Felipe, 46, will succeed his father.
(For more on the situation, read Slate foreign-affairs expert Joshua Keating's explanation of how the king’s political standing deteriorated to the point that he probably should have made this move five years ago.)
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