Spain: Juan Carlos undergoes surgery dislocated hip

After fall on safari, growing calls for King's abdication

27 April, 13:52

(ANASmed) - MADRID, APRIL 27 - Spain's King Juan Carlos last night underwent an operation for a dislocated right hip. The King had previously undergone hip replacement surgery on April 14 after suffering a fall during an elephant shoot in Botswana, Palace sources announced. Only yesterday Juan Carlos resumed his official schedule, with two official meetings at the Zaruela Palace, with the director of the Cervantes Institute, Victor de la Concha, and the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan.

Sources say that Juan Carlos made a sudden movement and suffered a fresh dislocation of the hip. The King was taken to the San José hospital, where he was operated and spent the night in the intensive care unit, before being moved back to the ward this morning.

Juan Carlos was discharged from the same hospital on Wednesday April 18, after his first hip operation, with the prospect of gradually resuming his work and complete physical activity in the space of two months. "I am very sorry, I made a mistake, it won't happen again," the King said with compunction as he came out of the hospital, in an attempt to stem the flow of criticism over the "inappropriate" elephant hunt in Botswana, amid a period of severe recession in Spain, with almost 6 million people unemployed and drastic social spending cuts imposed by Mariano Rajoy's government to reduce public debt, under pressure from markets and from the EU. The safari excursion worth costing more than 35,000 euros, was offered by the Syrian businessman Mohamed Eyad Kayali, who is close to the Saudi royal family. Juan Carlos is said to have been accompanied on the hunt by an attractive German princess, 40-year old, Corina Sayn-Wittgestein, who the Spanish media claim has been having an affair with the monarch for five years.

For the first time since the advent of democracy in Spain, controversy over the king's private life has led to a raft of criticism from the media and from political leaders and great activity on social networking sites by animal rights activists, well known opinion writers and openly anti-monarchy figures. The storm comes at a time when the royal family is in the eye of the storm over the investigation into murky affairs involving Iñaki Urdargarin, Juan Carlos' son-in-law, who is accused of corruption for illegally transferring almost 15 million euros in public money using his royal parentage. The day after the monarch's second hip operation, there has been insistent speculation in a number of communication outlets that Juan Carlos could abdicate and leave the throne to his son Felipe. (ANSAmed).

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