Spain’s King Juan Carlos I came limping out of a Madrid hospital on Wednesday and made his apologies for making a hunting trip to Botswana where he shot big game – his little jaunt has caused outrage in a country suffering from the effects of the current economic crisis.
The king’s elephant-hunting excursion angered many including wildlife activists, with thousands of postings on social media sites calling for the king to relinquish his position as the honorary president of the Spanish branch of the World Wildlife Fund.
This is yet another black mark on the royal family in December Inaki Urdangarin, the husband to the king’s youngest daughter Cristina, was charged with fraud and embezzlement.
The king oversaw the country’s tense transition to democracy he won the respect of many Spaniards in 1981 when he publicly condemned an attempted coup. Spanish people’s trust in the royal family has declined in recent polls and this incident certainly won’t help.
This highlights the different thinking of those in positions of influence and shows their disregard for the public opinion.
Spain, suffering greatly from austerity measures high unemployment and the ongoing effects of the European financial crisis is looking to its leadership and heads of state for help and compassion.