Spain's king takes a 7% pay cut

Spain's king and crown prince are taking pay cuts as part of the latest round of austerity measures meted out by the country's government as it attempts to control its deficit.

The salaries of King Juan Carlos and Crown Prince Felipe will be reduced about 7% - to about 272,000 euro (£214,000) and 131,000 euro (£103,000) respectively - in line with the new austerity package, the Royal Palace said.

The royal family itself has about 8.3 million euro (£6.5 million) budgeted for it this year, down 2% from 2011. Queen Sofia and Princess Letizia, Felipe's wife, do not get salaries but saw their expenses cut.

Palace officials did not provide details, and the royal family budget cuts came a year after 2011 reductions of 5% overall with palace employees including the king seeing their salaries cut up to 15%.

Spain is enacting more austerity measures in an attempt to convince sceptical investors it has a strategy to deal with its public finances and its banks, which are being bailed out with up to 100 billion euro (£79 billion) from the other 16 countries that use the euro.

The measures include government worker pay cuts, higher taxes and labour reforms making it cheaper to fire employees.

The king and prince acted voluntarily this year in cutting their salaries, the Royal Palace said.

The announcement came as the Spanish royal family's public profile has taken a battering over the past year, and just as Spain's economy entered its second recession in three years and unemployment rose to nearly 25%, the highest in the eurozone.

Recent Spanish royal embarrassments include a national uproar when news leaked out that the king went on an expensive elephant-hunting safari to Botswana in April, and while his son-in-law's financial dealings are under investigation.