Monarch-in-waiting, Prince Felipe will not slacken Spanish-Peruvian relations on succeeding to the throne, according to the countries’ respective ambassadors today.
“Relations with Spain are optimal,” said Francisco Eguiguren, the Peruvian ambassador in Spain following the surprise abdication of Juan Carlos III in an interview with the Gestión newspaper . “Peru is an example for Spain, and this will not change with the new king.”
Spain and Peru had “very good relations in every respect” and possessed “an unbreakable bond”, the Spanish ambassador in Peru, Juan Carlos Sanchez, told the newspaper El Comercio.
“The cultural relations are very deep, on top of this 300 medium and large companies are investing and are leaders here in Peru, a promising situation that the two of us maintain.”
Juan Carlos was a frequent figure in the Americas, carrying out 69 visits since the 1990s according to Mr Sanchez, and was the first Spanish monarch to set foot in the region of 360 million Spanish speakers.
Bilateral relations have improved recently with the relaxing of immigration rules under the Schengen agreement, and Spain continues to be a major source of foreign investment in Peru.
Both diplomats spoke highly of Prince Felipe and welcomed the succession.
“I can assure you that Felipe is an affable, communicative and hardworking person,” said Mr Sanchez.
He underlined the Prince’s interest in Latin America, saying on meeting the 46 year-old, the Prince was reading a book called “Latin America’s Moment” that “hadn’t been published, but was full of annotations”.
Mr Egruiguren said: “We are going to see (in Prince Felipe) not merely acts of protocol, but a style of a head of state with a modern grounding politics and culture’.
Juan Carlos, 76, who has suffered in recent years from ill health, leaves the Spanish crown at its low ebb since his coronation after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.
Scandals that include his daughter, Princess Cristina and her husband indicted for tax fraud, and a 2012 hunting trip in Botswana that resulted in him both injured and posing next to a shot elephant without President Mariano Rajoy’s knowledge of his location, have dogged the royal family over the past few years.
Fervent republican protests took place today in Madrid and other Spanish cities to call for the monarchy’s abolition.