Protesters burn pictures of King Juan Carlos in Spain
Sep 14, 2007, 9:52 GMT
Madrid - About 400 protesters championing the independence of the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia burnt images of King Juan Carlos during his visit to the Catalan city of Gerona, media reported Friday.
'The Bourbon out of Gerona' and 'Catalans do not have a king,' the demonstrators chanted while the monarch inaugurated a technology park belonging to a local university on Thursday.
The protesters displayed large images of the king and of Queen Sofia upside down, setting them on fire.
Such demonstrations are rare in Spain, where the royal family enjoys widespread popularity.
The royals have, however, come under increasing criticism especially in Catalonia and in the Basque region, which are seeking more autonomy from Spanish rule.
Basque senator Inaki Anasagasti blasted the royals as a 'bunch of idlers,' and the small Catalan republican party ERC accused the royals of lack of financial transparency.
King Juan Carlos recently appointed an auditor to scrutinize his spending.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur