05/01/13 01:05 CET
| updated xx mn ago
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Spain’s King Juan Carlos has given a rare television interview, as he marks his 75th birthday.
In 2012, he had to apologise for going elephant hunting in Botswana, while the country was in financial turmoil.
His son-in-law has also been at the centre of a corruption inquiry.
But the King said he is fit and ready for the future.
“I am in good shape. I have the energy to move forward and to meet the challenges, to achieve greater consensus among Spanish people.”
The monarch spoke of the importance of unity, in the wake of independence campaigns in Catalonia.
“Those who hold extreme views lead us to separatist politics that are not good for us. At this time, it is better for Spain to be united, all of us together,” he said.
Juan Carlos also talked of how far Spain had come during his 37-year reign.
He won wide respect after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. But the recent scandals have tainted the royal family’s popularity.
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