UK & World News
Fury At Spanish King's Hunting Trip Amid Recession
Spain's King Juan Carlos has sparked fury after going on a lavish private hunting trip to Africa while his country teeters on the brink of financial meltdown.
The expedition to Botswana is reported to have cost $26,000 (£16,000) at a time when ordinary Spaniards are struggling to make ends meet.
The row emerged as Spain's cost of borrowing on the international debt markets rose sharply on Monday, raising concerns that the country may follow in the footsteps of Greece, Ireland and Portugal in needing a financial rescue plan and eurozone bailout.
Spain's youth unemployment now exceeds 50% and with the country facing unprecedented spending cuts amid a public debt crisis and a record 4.75 million people out of work.
The Spanish media has attacked the 74-year-old monarch's lifestyle with several newspapers splashing a photo of him with a dead elephant, taken during a similar hunting trip in 2006, across their front pages.
"It was an irresponsible trip, taken at the worst possible moment," said the daily El Mundo.
"The image of a monarch hunting elephants in Africa at a time when the economic crisis in our country creates so many problems for the Spanish people is a very poor example."
The picture has triggered calls for greater transparency of the royal household's finances - and a storm of angry comment on the internet.
Details of the trip came to light after the king tripped and fractured his hip and had to be flown back to the Spanish capital Madrid for emergency surgery.
what do you think?
No mention of elephant numbers reducing rapidly because of ivory poachers. If it were between the elephant and the king, I know which species I'd prefer to keep.
what about our own royalty back here in the UK. cost a fortune to keep them and not a penny paid in tax ever. no wonder the queen is so wealthy........
1. There are only two people on the civil list, The Queen and Prince Philip. 2. They do not get a fortune. Not as much as Fred the Shred. 3. They do pay tax.
and they call the elephant Dumbo !!!
Half of our royal family is swanning off around the world it seems , with all sorts of bogus reasons but i would like the chance.99% of us cant afford a trip to Southend Oh sorry i live in southend . Spain once got rid of its royals. thay should know better Regards George age 73 God save the queen
Does it really matter? Not many comments about lazy Spanish workers always striking or home buyers and lawyers taking illegal bungs to avoid paying tax. These are far more important than some irrelevant story about Spanish royalty.
Royalty killing an elephant for "sport". Not newsworthy enough for you.
It's the two-legged ones in the photo that should have been shot, not the four legged one...
Windows Live User
One elephant and one extinct mammoth pictured together
I can't believe that people are allowed to shoot elephants - what the hell does someone want to do that for and how is it allowed? - unbelievable
Who cares about King Carlos anyway?. The elphants are more important. Peter. Holmfirth.
As JR states no mention of the elephant, shows what a barbaric country he is king of.
Oh, he's king of Botswana then is he? Agree with the sentiment re elephant hunting but if you must post, write something sensible.
I think the economics of the trip is hardly the point, here. The fact that royalty are allowed to shoot an animal such as this, for sport, is obscene. The poachers will have a field day with this.
he is a king and can do as he wants. i would worry more about immigrunts taking jobs if they can be bothered to work or bleeding the social security system and committing crime that costs millions for the police and interpreters and impacts on evryones quality of life. now those are the real issues.
Quite apart from the money involved (not exactly big bucks in the overall scheme of things) the need to pose with a gun and go around wasting animals for pleasure is hardly indicative of a healthy mind, I suggest he seeks help with some urgency
its true as the majority say its us the taxpayers paying for the dam government and the royalty whilst others including animals suffer should do as the us and australia ban the immigrants and make all the lazy folk get jobs !!!!!!
Disgraceful to see that beautiful animal shot.But being king of a country that torments and kills bulls for pleasure are we really surprised?