KING Juan Carlos has called for a ‘united’ Spain in the face of economic crisis.

The monarch urged the country to recreate the binding spirit that helped build Spain’s post-Franco democracy, lambasting the regions for encouraging ‘dissent’ and ‘opening up wounds’.

“Now is not the time for chasing pipe dreams, but for unification,” he said, referring to Cataluna’s latest push for separatism.

In a letter printed on his brand new website,, Juan Carlos went on: “We are at a crossroads that will determine the future of Europe and of Spain, and strengthen, or ruin, the wellbeing we have worked so hard to achieve.”

“The only way we will overcome the current difficulties is by working together, walking together and joining voices.

“We need to recover and reinforce those values that have prevailed during the best periods of our complex history, which were particularly dominant during Spain’s transition to democracy,”

Last week 1.5 million people joined Barcelona’s annual march for an independent Cataluna – with protestors demanding a tax review for the region.

Cataluna has long argued it pays far more tax than the rest of Spain – €16 billion more per year to be exact – which is collected by central government then redistributed to the poorer regions.

“The crisis has shown that Spain’s regional financing model does not work. There is no doubt we need to advance towards a federal system of taxation,” said Jose Ignacio Conde-Ruiz from economic thinktank FEDEA.

Today Cataluna’s leader Artur Mas and Prime Minister Rajoy were in meetings to discuss Mas’ plans to free his region from Spain’s tax regime.


  1. If Spain does break up he’s out of a job. You cannot make people live together that don’t want to. The Euskadi and Catalans have a long memory they will never forget the centuries of brutality suffered by the Aryans of Castille y Leon and those two powerhouses can stand alone.They don’t need Madrid – all it has are parasitic middlemen who produce nothing and who cream off the top – writing on the wall.

  2. Fred whats wrong with elephant hunting?? The locals approve of it as they control the herds.If it was not for elephant hunting the elephants would die of hunger.Visit the reserves in Kenya and speak to the locals before making such a stupid comment.

  3. Stuard: If the Catalans were to be independent (which is impossible at this moment) they would be kicked out of the EU and its monetary union (The EU). The businesses in CAtaluña would abandon Cataluña like rats in a ship, causing the GDP of the country to drop to poor levels. Is this what they want?? I don´t think so!! THe same goes for THe BAsques and the Scots In the UK.

  4. Aussie: If it’s so O.K. To shoot elephants, why did the old boy apologise for doing so? How come he didn’t trot out your argument? If the elephants do need culling, they don’t need to send for the king of Spain to do it. Surely they can bump off a few tuskers themselves and eat ’em.

  5. Stefanjo – “Aussie: If it’s so O.K. To shoot elephants, why did the old boy apologise for doing so? How come he didn’t trot out your argument? If the elephants do need culling, they don’t need to send for the king of Spain to do it.”

    Aussie sunshine is actually right. Trophy hunting in Africa is primarily done today to help cull and also to generate revenue for locals. You’re talking about a rich person who wants to shoot an elephant, so they pay an enormous sum (50,000 EUR I’ve heard in some cases) for the opportunity. The money goes to local villages as well as to fund park conservation. Many simply are culled, but if the animal is going to be killed and it can also fund a village then that is the best option.

    Obviously the apology isn’t because people understand the ecological need to cull elephant herds. It’s “oh poor elephant” – just an emotional argument. Politicians have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. That doesn’t consist of people with backgrounds in animal conservation and local economics in Kenya. It does, however, consist of people who think “killing elephants is sad.”

  6. You need to travel more to Africa to see how the “real” world works. For us it may be a beautiful majestic animal but the farmers on the ground see it as a pest.King Juan Carlos should not have apologised. He should have come out with the facts and stand his ground.It is the same with Badgers in the UK.The culling is about to start as these creatures are spreading desease and need to be culled.
    Dave the leather you are wearing came from animals that have been slaughtered so that you can eat and feed yourself like the locals in Africa culling elephants or the culling of Kangaroos in Australia.

  7. The king of Spain is NOT a politician. The clue is in the title. So, where most people see an over-privileged lout with loadsamoney, Reality sees a lying hypocrite, whose apology means nothing. Not sure which is worse. Or, maybe, just maybe, the old codger was actually sincere? As for the “benefits” to the locals of killing for money, Where does it stop? Ivory? Rhino horn? Animal pelts? Trophy hunting of any description, ranks down there with bullfighting, bear-baiting, cock-fighting and utterly pointless badger slaughter. The trouser department seems lacking in those enthusiasts of killing for fun and fortune.

  8. STEFANJO Who do you think stopped the coupe in the 80´s?? santa clause? If it hadn´t been for the King there would not have been any democracy in Spain. And remember he is the head of the military forces in Spain and the oldest Monarchy in Europe with a great tradition. I see you are a republican or a communist by your uneducated language used to describe a leader of an European NAtion.

  9. Stefanjo – “As for the “benefits” to the locals of killing for money, Where does it stop? Ivory? Rhino horn? Animal pelts?”

    It stops with conservation of the habitat. These aren’t endangered elephants being poached for tusks. They are elephants being culled because there are not enough resources to keep them alive. While bullfighting is, in fact, pointless slaughter for sport the culling of animals in nature is something that you will learn if you ever study about animal conservation. This happens in all natural parks all around the world.

    Deer, wolves, wild pigs, elephants, cane toads, etc. you name it. The natural process would be a population explosion of said animal, which results in deficit of the prey/food source, then the starvation of said animal, gradual growth in population of prey/food source and then the cycle repeats again. It never actually balances out, in nature; the balancing act is artificial and it is something that conservationists (see: PhDs running the parks) manage in order to keep a balance.

    Fred – “I wish someone would cull people like Reality. Human activities that impinge on elephant habitat are the issue.”

    1. It’s a human habitat, too. You’re talking about human beings who have lived in the exact same place since the beginning of human history.

    2. The issue with culling elephants when the population explodes has nothing to do with human activity. It has to do with the fact that there are too little resources (e.g periodic droughts) that result in animal starvation.

    Dave – “Imagine shooting such a magnificent animal as an elephant. [email protected]!! Reality you’re always JUST out for an argument on here trolling around. If he wants to help local villages in Africa just send them some money! you don’t have to kill an elephant to do this!”

    You’ve proven my point, re: the informal fallacy of argument by emotion. Yes, seeing an elephant get killed is sad. However, in some cases it is necessary. The park rangers will do it for free if no one else does it, because it has to be done. Helping local villages is a byproduct; it’s taking advantage of a process that is going to be done regardless. Money isn’t the prime motivation. You can either have park rangers culling elephants to a suitable population size for free (actually at cost to the taxpayers) or you can have a few rich tourists fly in and do the exact same thing – except also provide a bit of extra money for locals. Be pragmatic, not emotional. The exact same thing happens to the elephants in both cases. The latter option simply helps the economy as well as the environment.

    Aussue sunshine – “He [King Juan Carlos] should have come out with the facts and stand his ground.”

    He probably doesn’t even know. Most hunters just enjoy hunting. Few people are aware (as you can see from the comments) that part of park conservation actually involves killing animals every year. In some places they issue hunting licenses and that alone is enough and in some places the state actually has the park rangers – or even pays professional hunters – to cull the overpopulated population.

  10. Let’s use a different example that may help some of the expats to understand the conservation/balance situation better:

    This year, in Spain, there was an explosion in the population of jellyfish. So men – lets call them “sea rangers” to make the analogy more clear – got in their boats and cleaned up all of these extra jellyfish. They scooped up literally millions so that they wouldn’t do damage to the sea (which is more important than simply stinging your legs).

    Same situation with elephants, hyenas, baboons, etc. Some years, for whatever reason (extra rain, increase in temperature, natural disease in predators population, etc.) you get a population explosion. Just like the jellyfish this year in Spain, due to temperature. And then the park rangers have to deal with that – just like the jellyfish.

    The only difference is that no one says, “poor jellyfish” because it’s a jellyfish. An elephant, on the other hand, is a big, sensitive, majestic animal. Even if, factually, the situation is the same it is emotionally different. Thus; “poor elephant.”

  11. “It’s a human habitat, too. You’re talking about human beings who have lived in the exact same place since the beginning of human history.”

    Elephant history pre-dates human history. Please, enrol back at college to learn these basic facts about the planet.

    And take anti-troll therapy whilst you are there.

  12. Aussie sunshine,
    you are good for a laugh but that’s all – the Austrian (because thats what his family is) went elephant killing in Zimbabwe not Kenya.

    Aussie sunshine you are the trolls illiterate brother. Firstly my name is spelt with a ‘t’ at the end and it’s not a typo as the ‘t’ and ‘d’ are not kissing cousins.

    Also totally wrong about badgers – cows get all kinds of infections because they have become resistant to anti-biotics.

    The Spanish king is most certainly not from the oldest monarchy in Europe – where do you get this crap from – probably after drinking too much Aussie beer.

    Why not take a trip to Scotland and mouth off there – I know what reply you will get – a Glasgow kiss.

  13. At the least, the King of Spain should have used his intelligence and stayed away from such a controversial issue – especially having the honorary title of Pres. WWF that protects animals. Using his brains, he could have THANKED his benefactor for the hunting invitation, and requested he DONATE the funds to the animal Reserve or Villages in that hunt area.
    All ++ for everyone, and NO negatives !

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