Several thousands rally against monarchy in Spain

AP , Sunday 14 Apr 2013

Thousands demonstrate in Madrid, Spain against the incumbent monarchy and demand the reinstatement of a democratically-elected head of state

Protestors shout slogans and carry republican and communist flags during a protest against the monarchy in Madrid, Spain (Photo: AP)

Thousands of people are demonstrating against the Spanish monarchy and demanding the return of a democratically elected head of state, another blow for embattled King Juan Carlos.

The marchers thronged Madrid's central Puerta del Sol on Sunday, the 82nd anniversary of the establishment of Spain's last democratically-elected republic, which was overthrown by an army uprising that led to a civil war and the 36-year military dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco.

Franco appointed Prince Juan Carlos as his successor as head of state, a job the royal took over as king upon the dictator's death in 1975.

The monarchy's popularity has slumped in recent months, with the 75-year-old king being criticized for going on luxurious safaris during Spain's financial crisis and having members of his royal family being investigated for corruption.

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