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Spain's King Juan Carlos greets Mexican president a week after announcing abdication plans

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MADRID - Spain's King Juan Carlos has presided over a reception ceremony for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in one of the monarch's last official acts before his announced abdication.

Pena Nieto was also welcomed by Queen Sofia and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the Pardo Palace in Madrid on Monday. Nieto was accompanied by his wife Angelica Rivera de Pena and several government ministers for the three-day visit which aims to improve business ties between the two countries.

The reception came a week after the announcement that the 76-year-old king plans to end his four-decade reign in favour of his son, 46-year-old Prince Felipe.

The king, who is expected to leave the throne this month, said he was abdicating so that fresh royal blood can help rally the nation.

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