SPAIN: AT BREAKING POINT? A political and economic analysis for 2013 IBERIANS OF THE YEAR: The most influential people and groups of 2012

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King Juan Carlos

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The boyish grin, the Bourbon nose, the endless joshing: even if he wasn’t the king of Spain, you could spot Juan Carlos a mile off. But despite the down-to-earth bonhomie, he has a livelier CV than most living monarchs. Juan Carlos accidentally shot his brother dead with a hunting gun as a child. He then became the protégé of dictator Franco, expected to ensure the country stayed “old school”. But Juan Carlos proved he was more than a tyrant’s puppet by steering Spain into democracy and then foiling a 1981 attempted coup with a now-historic television address to his people. All by the age of 43. Who can blame him for enjoying the high life since?