National Geographic: The Soul of Spain

Synopsis:
Year:
1991
44 Views


he had prepared himself for it

To everyone's surprise

he deftly led his people from

dictatorship to democracy

A king who pays taxes lives modestly

and is an avid sports enthusiast

he soon became the most popular man

in the country

His greatest test came in 1981

when parliament was invaded by

Civil Guards

commanded by a right-wing colonel

As an amazed public watched on television

the colonel called for a return to

a Francoist regime

Working through the night

as parliament was held hostage

the king obtained pledges of loyalty

from his principal military leaders

and quelled the attempted coup

His reassuring address to the people

included these words

The Crow... cannot tolerate actions

attempting to interrupt by force

democratic process

Under his leadership a vital and dynamic

New Spain has become an economic

success story

The nation is an eager new member of

the European Community

Its thirty-nine million citizens

have a higher standard of living than

ever in their history

And there is freedom

of religion, of expression

The repression of old has evaporated

A burst of growth has transformed

the nation

Every year Spain attracts 50 million

tourists

more than the country's total population

They bring billions of dollars

new ideas and customs

The Spaniards

once Europe's poor relations

have become conspicuous consumers

But behind the facade of modern Spain

echoes of an older way of life still

resonate

In the same year that Franco died

so did Don Fernando de la Camara

one of the wealthy landowners who

had supported the dictator

Camar's presence can still be felt

in the Seville apartment

where his heir, Rocio, lives

She is now head of her family's

agricultural business

As her father did

Rocio grows wheat and sunflowers and

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