Poll: Spanish king, queen get strong backing after 1st year

AP News
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Posted: Jun 19, 2015 6:06 AM

MADRID (AP) — Spaniards strongly approve the way the king and queen are doing things in their first year and give the monarch top marks in boosting Spain's image abroad, an opinion poll published Friday showed.

The poll in El Pais newspaper indicates 81 percent approved King Felipe VI's performance, while 17 percent disapprove and 2 percent didn't know or didn't answer. Queen Letizia, a former television presenter, got a 74 percent approval rating.

Felipe's efforts at projecting a positive image of Spain abroad got 78 percent backing.

Felipe, 47, was proclaimed king a year ago Friday, replacing his scandal-hit father, former King Juan Carlos. He pledged to restore trust in the monarchy.

The poll, carried out by the Metroscopia firm, quizzed 1,200 people in fixed telephone interviews June 15-16. It has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

Earlier this month, Felipe stripped his sister Princess Cristina of her title as Duchess of Palma de Mallorca in the latest move to distance the royal family from the princess as she awaits trial for tax fraud along with her husband.

The case was one of many scandals that eroded the once immense popularity of Juan Carlos. The former king also sparked public anger by taking a secret elephant-hunting trip to Botswana in 2012 at the height of Spain's financial crisis.

Over the year, Felipe has also moved to clean up the institution's image by subjecting palace accounts to external audits and making the results public. Other steps included a new code of good conduct, a ban on immediate royal family members working in the public sector and greater control of gifts received by the royal family.