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Spain welcomes a new King after father's abdication

Spain's new king, Felipe VI, has appeared before the nation for the first time, greeting the public from a balcony flanked by his family.

King Felipe stands with the new HM Queen Letizia of Spain, along with his two daughters. Credit: Reuters

Prince Felipe officially became King Felipe VI of Spain, after his father, King Juan Carlos, abdicated due to poor health.

The new King waves to the crowd after his coronation. Credit: Reuters
Hundreds greet the new King with Spanish flags. Credit: Reuters

Felipe becomes the new King of Spain

Spain's new king, Felipe VI has been sworn in today, in a low-key ceremony which monarchists hope will usher in a new era for the country.

King Felipe swore loyalty to Spain's constitution before addressing the chamber. He was accompanied by his wife, the newly crowned HM Queen Letizia of Spain.

King Felipe stands with the new HM Queen Letizia of Spain. Credit: Reuters
Juan Carlos gives Felipe the sash of the Captain General, the Spanish Army's top rank Credit: Reuters
King Felipe waves to the crowd after being sworn in, his wife watches on. Credit: Reuters

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Low key ceremony planned for new Spain's new king

The ceremony to swear in the new king of Spain has been designed to chime with times of austerity, palace officials said, mindful that more than one in four Spanish workers is jobless despite an incipient economic recovery.

Felipe VI and Princess Letizia of Spain. Credit: AlterPhotos/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

Hopes for the new king are high, and some believe that, despite his role being mainly symbolic as head of state, he will use his position to push dialogue over the challenge of a separatist movement in wealthy northeastern Catalonia.

Felipe, who is 46, will wear military uniform with a sash and swear loyalty to Spain's constitution before addressing the chamber. He will then be driven through central Madrid with hiswife, Queen Letizia, a former journalist.

New king of Spain Felipe VI to be sworn in

The new king of Spain will be sworn in later in a low-key ceremony which monarchists hope will usher in a new era of popularity for the troubled royal household.

Felipe VI becomes king after his father, Juan Carlos, abdicated earlier this month following a series of scandals that led many Spaniards to question the role of the monarchy itself.

Felipe VI becomes king after his father, Juan Carlos, abdicated. Credit: PA

The ceremony, at Spain's lower house of parliament, has little pomp and circumstance compared with royal handovers in other countries.

It is more of a legal process, attended by lawmakers, high-level politicians and some members of the royal family. No foreign leaders have been invited.

'Rip off' car hire firms 'damaging Spain's image'

The Spanish group Organisation of Consumers and Users said unlawful practices by car hire companies were damaging the image of the country as a holiday destination.

We hope that Spanish authorities investigate and punish all rental car companies which engage in unlawful practices.

This behaviour damages consumers' rights and the image of Spain as a holiday destination.

– OCU spokeswoman Ileana Izverniceanu

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Call to end 'rip off' car hire charges for tourists in Spain

Many British tourists in Spain are being "ripped off" by car hire firms that force customers to pay unfair fuel charges, according to consumer groups.

Which? said many tourists to Spain were getting a raw deal from car hire firms. Credit: PA

Confusing policies often leave holidaymakers with additional, non-refundable charges for fuel that were not always clear at the time of booking, according to Which?

The full-empty policy means customers must pay for a full tank of petrol on arrival but are not offered refunds for returning the car with unused fuel.

The watchdog said that someone hiring a Fiat 500 would have to drive the 80-mile round trip from Palma airport to Port de Pollenca on the other side of Mallorca nearly seven times to get their money's worth.

Almost three quarters of Which? members who had experienced this thought they had been "ripped off" by being forced to pay a fuel price that was higher than at local garages.

World Champions Spain beaten 5-1 by Netherlands

Holland's Robin van Persie celebrates scoring by high-fiving manager Louis van Gaal. Credit: Reuters

Dutch stars Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben inspired Holland to a stunning, unthinkable 5-1 win over defending champions Spain in a thrilling encounter that will go down in World Cup history.

The Dutch avenged their defeat by the same opponents in the 2010 final in outrageous style, with four unanswered goals in an irresistible second half display in Salvador.

Van Persie and Robben scored two apiece, with each man's first a minor classic in its own right.

Defender Stefan de Vrij scored his side's third.

Vincent Del Bosque's side, who also lost their opener against Switzerland four years ago, had actually taken the lead through Xabi Alonso's disputed penalty, a lead they held until Van Persie's instinctive flying header levelled matters just before the break.

Spain's new King to be crowned within weeks

New laws needed to allow Spain's King Juan Carlos to abdicate in favour of his son have been set in train by the Spanish parliament.

The country is due to have his son, Crown Prince Felipe, crowned as King on the throne within three weeks.

But with slipping ratings and a corruption scandal stubbornly swirling around the family, the esteem of the monarch is being eroded fast, as Correspondent Dan Rivers reports.

King Juan Carlos & Prince Felipe attend public ceremony

Spain's King Juan Carlos I has attended a public ceremony a day after the monarch announced he would abdicate in favour of his son Prince Felipe.

King Carlos and Prince Felipe in royal finery watch the march. Credit: TVE

Both standing in military uniform and preceding over the event, they watched soldiers and band members march past the royal box.

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