The leader of the PSC Catalan branch of Spain’s opposition Socialist Party, Pere Navarro, on Wednesday asked King Juan Carlos to abdicate in favor of his son Prince Felipe.
“He has been a good king; he was a key figure in the Transition of the 1970s and 1980s, and the majority of Catalans and Spaniards appreciate his work,” said Navarro, who is on the record as being a republican. “But I am absolutely convinced he needs to be relieved. We need a new head of state for the transition of the 21st century.”
“Today [Wednesday], openly and publicly, I suggest the current head of state needs to abdicate,” Navarro continued. “It would be a peaceful replacement in response to the needs of our time.”
The PSC leader said if the king does not abandon the throne, many people might start to think that the democratic monarchy system itself needs to be changed. “I think they would not be in the wrong if there is not a timely reaction.”
We need a new head of state for the transition of the 21st century”
The monarchy has been through some troubled times of late. The king last year apologized for going off on an elephant-shooting trip to Botswana at a time when the public was suffering from the government’s austerity measures and high unemployment. The king’s son-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarin, has been implicated with his former business partner Diego Torres in a criminal case allegedly involving the siphoning off of public funds.
Acknowledging that his comments might seem “polemical” to some people, Navarro said Felipe could play a significant role in the profound changes Spain needs, insisting that the monarchy needs to “modernize and accept the rules of transparency demanded by the public nowadays.”
The national Socialist Party put out a press release stating that it “in no way” shared the opinions expressed by Navarro.