Spanish Parliament approves King Juan Carlos' abdication

By Kyle Johnson,

Spain's Parliament officially approved King Juan Carlos' plan to abdicate the thrown in favor of the crown prince.

The lower house approved a law last week, with the Senate following on Tuesday, paving the way for Crown Prince Felipe to take over, reports The Associated Press. The upper house voted 233-5 in favor, with only 20 abstaining.

Once the king ratifies the legislation, the crown prince will be named King Felipe VI on Thursday before Parliament.

The new king will have the difficult task of working to improve Spain's economic issues, as well as improving the tarnished view of the monarchy.

The 76-year-old Juan Carlos announced his intention to step down earlier in June as he is suffering health issues and has been widely criticized for a luxurious elephant hunting trip as the economy struggles with a 25 percent unemployment rate.

The decision to step down is a new one for the Spanish monarchy and left parliament with the task of figuring out how to move forward with the abdication process due to a lack of laws regarding the issue.

image courtesy of INFphoto.com

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