King Juan Carlos of Spain has outlined the reasons behind his decision to abdicate in a live television address to his subjects. The King said he made up his mind when he turned 76 in January and that it was a decision taken with “great emotion”. He said a new generation must now be at the forefront of Spain. “Younger people with new energies are needed to undertake reforms that the present juncture demands of us,” he told the audience and expressed his gratitude to the Spanish people for their support. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy made the initial announcement on Monday morning that the King had decided to step aside while the Royal Palace released pictures of his letter of abdication. Juan Carlos, who is 76, was Spain’s first crowned head of state after the death of dictator General Francisco Franco in 1975. He was credited with steering Spain to democracy, and for saving the country from a coup attempt in 1981. His 46-year-old son Felipe who it’s understood will be called Felipe the sixth of Spain will succeed his father.
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