MADRID, June 3 Spain's Prince Felipe will
probably succeed his father Juan Carlos as king sometime after
June 18, parliament speaker Jesus Posada said on Tuesday, a day
after the long-reigning monarch announced he would abdicate.
Juan Carlos said on Monday he would hand over the throne to
Felipe in a move aimed at rehabilitating the scandal-hit Spanish
monarchy at a time of economic hardship and growing discontent
with the wider political elite.
Spain does not have a precise set of rules regulating
abdication and succession and the transition is set to be
accomplished via legislation in parliament, where the governing
conservative People's Party has an absolute majority. The
opposition Socialists have said they would back the bill.
"We will see, but I believe that everything should be sorted
out by June 18 so that the solemn proclamation can take place
before the chambers (parliament and senate)," Posada said.
The once-popular Juan Carlos, 76, who spent almost 40 years
on the throne, helped smooth Spain's transition to democracy in
the 1970s after the Francisco Franco dictatorship but seemed
increasingly out of touch in recent years.
A corruption scandal in the family and his visible infirmity
after repeated surgery in recent years have also eroded public
support for Juan Carlos. Polls show greater support for Felipe,
46, who has not been tarnished by the corruption allegations.
An extraordinary cabinet meeting started at 1000 GMT in
Madrid on Tuesday to set out the exact steps for Prince Felipe
to take over as Felipe VI.
(Reporting by Edgar Aribau, writing by Julien Toyer, editing by