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PostFuture of Spanish Monarchy (Paul Preston, -UK, 10/20/13 6:51 am)
I have enough trouble interpreting the past without embarking on predicting the future. However, I would say in response to Jordi Molins (20 October) that the one asset of the monarchy has been, despite all its myriad disadvantages, the fact that it offers, in principle at least, a neutral headship of state. With a political class as bitterly divided as is that of Spain, riddled moreover with corruption, this is potentially important. I say "potentially" because it would need to be proven that the heir, the Príncipe de Asturias, is capable of showing independence of both major political parties and showing some sensitivity on the issue of Catalonia.
However, it is futile to try to predict. It is impossible to know in what circumstances the reign of Juan Carlos will end--abdication, death, massive constitutional change? Both of the main political parties are doing so abysmally in the polls that the next general elections could bring major surprises. Similarly, the Catalan situation could take unexpected turns. Accordingly, it is impossible to foresee the situation that a future King Felipe would face assuming that he ever ascends (or descends, depending on your point of view), to the throne.
JE comments: I recall reading somewhere (perhaps on WAIS) that Felipe is particularly unpopular in Catalonia--even more so than Juan Carlos. Can anyone confirm/comment?