'Pro-republic rallies held across Spain after king announces abdication' [Hamid Golpira @ PressTV]
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Thousands of anti-monarchy activists have taken to the streets in dozens of Spanish cities following the announcement that King Juan Carlos plans to abdicate. The demonstrations attracted nearly 5-thousand in Barcelona and 20-thousand in the capital Madrid. Activists gathered in the downtown Madrid area of Puerto Del Sol after Juan Carlos's announcement that he is stepping down in favor of his son, Prince Felipe. The anti-monarchists waved republican flags and carried placards to mark the end of 39 years of Juan Carlos's reign. In a televised address, the 76-year-old king said that he is abdicating in the hope of revitalizing the palace and the country after years of scandal and recession. The royal family was hit with a corruption scandal in 2011 at the height of Spain's economic crisis. Then, one year later, Juan Carlos outraged Spaniards when he went to Africa to hunt elephants while ordinary people struggled to survive in a recession.