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Europe and its Cartoons

July 24, 2007

In case you thought European statesmen practice what they preach.


Giles Tremlett in Madrid

Saturday July 21, 2007 , Guardian

Spanish police were ordered to raid newsagents across the country yesterday to remove copies of a satirical magazine deemed to have offended the country’s royal family by publishing a cartoon of the
heir to the throne having sex.
The cartoon on the front cover of El Jueves magazine showed Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia in the midst of an ardent session of love-making.

A speech bubble issuing from the prince’s mouth makes a joke about the amount of work done by the royal family and a government decision to give families €2,500 (£1,680) for each new child.“Do you realise what it will mean if you get pregnant?” the prince asks. “This is going to be the closest thing to work that I’ve ever done.”A judge at Spain’s national court yesterday ordered police to impound all copies of the magazine, arguing that it contravened a law that prevents Spaniards from being “rude or insulting” about King Juan Carlos or his family. Judge Juan del Olmo described the cartoon as “clearly denigrating and objectively odious”. Those responsible may face prison sentences of up to two years.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007 __._,_.___

El Jueves’ website collapsed yesterday under what appeared to be an avalanche of hits from Spaniards keen to see what the fuss was about.

The cartoon was reproduced on El Mundo newspaper’s website, in a defiant gesture to the judge’s decision. The judge was reportedly responding to a request from the attorney general’s office.

After decades in which Spain’s royal family has been treated with kid gloves by the media, comedians and cartoonists have increasingly made them the butt of their humour in recent years.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2007 11:27 am

    Shame, my dear friend, is not a monopoly of the East.

  2. July 24, 2007 1:58 pm

    Neither is hypocrisy. Or more unfortunately, limits to free speech.

  3. July 24, 2007 9:12 pm

    Guru Sajid,

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Was thinking of doing something on this for a few days, but other matters kind of took over my time/interest.

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