King-size costs: European crisis puts new spotlight on monarchies’ spending

Shortly after confiding to his countrymen that he had been unable to sleep at night because of all the young unemployed people in his country, Spanish King Juan Carlos secretly hopped aboard a plane and went on a lavish safari to Botswana, where he shot elephants.

When word leaked out this spring, Spaniards were outraged. Newspapers calculated that such hunting trips cost twice the country’s average annual salary. Tomas Gomez, a Socialist party leader, called on the king to choose between his “public responsibilities or an abdication.” Now, critics are calling on him to slash his budget and reveal how he is spending the money.

The backlash against the 74-year-old king is part of a broader soul-searching in Europe about the role and relevance of monarchies as the economic crisis deepens.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, History, Politics in General, Spain, Taxes, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

2 comments on “King-size costs: European crisis puts new spotlight on monarchies’ spending

  1. Terry Tee says:

    Oh good grief. Any leadership at the top is going to cost loadsa money especially for security. As y’all know in the US where the bill for ex-presidents alone must be colossal. Leave our kings and queens alone! (Now there’s a sentence I never thought I would write.)

  2. Ad Orientem says:

    Indeed this is a patently silly article that rolls out all of the long discredited republican arguments.

    * Elected heads of state have similar expenses to monarchies.
    * Elected heads of state are inherently political animals and rarely enjoy broad public support.
    * Monarchies tend to pay for themselves by drawing tourists, something no elected head of state does.
    *Monarchies, by virtue of their apolitical nature, are an excellent unifying symbol for a nation.
    *Monarchies usually embody the history, culture and traditions of their countries.
    *Constitutional monarchies often serve as a powerful stabilizing influence in the politics of a country. In serious political crisis or national emergencies they can serve as a neutral rallying point for the people.

    Who without looking it up online can name the Heads of State of Israel, Italy, Greece, Portugal or any other republic with a parliamentary system? I on the other hand can name the reigning monarch of every country in Europe that still has a monarchy and the heirs to most of those countries that have abandoned the crown.

    And lastly one must note that there is a theological argument for monarchy. Nowhere does Scripture make reference to presidents and prime ministers. There are however numerous passages which affirm a monarchical form of government.