Spain's Rajoy to join royals on Vatican trip

Brussels, Mar 14 (EFE).- Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Thursday that he will travel to Rome next week with Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia to attend the installation of Pope Francis I.

Rajoy said he would make the trip next Tuesday in remarks to reporters upon his arrival at the meeting of the European People's Party, or EPP, here a few hours before the European Union summit is set to begin.

The premier emphasized that the election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pontiff is a joyful occasion for Spain because he is an Ibero-American pope who completed part of his studies in Spain.

"He knows our country and we can all be very satisfied and very happy," Rajoy added amid the snow falling in Brussels on Thursday.

Rajoy on Wednesday sent a congratulatory telegram to the new pontiff in which he expressed his desire to maintain and strengthen relations between Spain and The Vatican.