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

King Juan Carlos

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2012 was the year that some of Spain’s most revered and powerful institutions lost their aura. Crisis hit the country’s banking sector, once seen as among the strongest in the world and the already unpopular judiciary was further discredited by a scandal affecting the president of the Supreme Court, Carlos Dívar. Even the royal family could not escape the wave of opprobrium. A scandal linking King Juan Carlos’s son-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarin, to an embezzlement scam dragged on without resolution, at times threatening to sully the name of Princess Cristina. And in April, as Spain’s borrowing costs soared and the economic crisis reached a new peak, it was revealed that Juan Carlos himself had been on an elephant-hunting trip in Botswana (during which he broke his hip). No wrongdoing was suggested, but this was a crass misjudgement by the king, who was forced to make a meek televised apology.

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