"--IANS/EFE"
Madrid, June 19 (IANS/EFE) The royal succession has sent an exemplary message and the new king, Felipe VI, will be a monarch of hope, harmony, freedom and equality for Spaniards, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a commentary Thursday.

Rajoy said in the commentary, published in different newspapers and titled Un rey para la esperanza y la concordia (A King for Hope and Harmony), that the royal succession had been carried out with normality and demonstrated institutional stability, as well as maturity and transparency.

The commentary appeared in the press hours after the law formalising the abdication of King Juan Carlos was published in the Official Bulletin of the State, making Felipe de Borbon the king of Spain at midnight Wednesday.

The 46-year-old Felipe VI was sworn in and proclaimed king of Spain before parliament Thursday in a ceremony in the lower house of the legislature.

The prime minister said the royal succession sent a message to those inside and outside Spain that the country's institutions were solid and stable.

The royal succession showed that the Spanish constitution can guarantee peace, liberty and progress, Rajoy said.

The prime minister noted the tremendous changes and advances in Spain during King Juan Carlos's time on the throne, a reign that will go down in history as the most prosperous and fruitful of all that are recalled.

The 76-year-old Juan Carlos, who ascended the throne Nov 22, 1975, was an anchor of stability and an engine of progress, Rajoy said.

The former monarch was a reforming and modernising force from the start of the transition to democracy along with other unforgettable figures, such as late prime minister Adolfo Suarez, Rajoy said.

Juan Carlos played a key role in thwarting the Feb 23, 1981, attempted coup and providing leadership to a Spain that was opening up to democracy, the prime minister said.

The former monarch served as an ambassador and defender of Spain in the world, Rajoy said, adding that Felipe VI represented continuity in a mature and modern society.

The new king is a person of his times and capable of connecting with the feelings and worries of the new generations of Spaniards, Rajoy said.

--IANS/EFE

ab/vm


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