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Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | Thursday, June 19, 2014

New king leads monarchy into the future

If Felipe VI can advance key political debates in Spain he will show that the monarchy is not at all obsolete, the liberal-conservative Neue Zürcher Zeitung comments: "If in Spain there are now those who expect the new King Felipe VI to renew the country's moral standards they expect too much, because he lacks the authority to do so. ... Even though he's not supposed to play an active political role the new king will have to address two pressing issues, either publicly or behind closed doors. First and foremost the Catalonia problem. ... The announced independence referendum in Catalonia won't decide the outcome of this conflict but it will escalate it. Perhaps Felipe VI can initiate a meaningful dialogue in this difficult situation; something the politicians haven't been able to do so far. Furthermore, in his own interest he will have to take a stance on the future of the monarchy. By supporting the idea of holding a referendum he could defuse the discussion and bring about a workable decision. If he can contribute to a solution on these two issues people will say: a king is a good thing after all for Spain."

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