Spain's king sheds luxury yacht as crisis bites

MADRID (AP) - Spain's King Juan Carlos is getting rid of the luxury yacht he and his family used during holidays in an apparent belt-tightening measure as the country braves an economic crisis.

A palace spokesman says Friday the 75-year-old monarch is asking National Heritage authorities to shed the 41-metre Fortuna, handing it over to the government to decide its fate. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with palace regulations.

The monarchy's popularity rating has plunged in recent years, coinciding with a deep recession and a series of scandals tarnishing the family's image.

The country has been in recession for most of the past four years and has a record 27.2 per cent unemployment rate.

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