king of spain

Catalan nationalists denounce their exclusion from the King's abdication process and abstain

June 11, 2014 09:30 PM | ACN

King Juan Carlos' succession process is not explicitly backed by the Centre-Right pro-Catalan State Coalition Convergència i Unió (CiU), which played a crucial role in Spain's Transition from dictatorship to democracy and guaranteed on many occasions Spain's stability. However, this time, the CiU has decided to abstain in the vote on the Law on Juan Carlos' abdication, as it was announced last week. The CiU accused Spain's two largest parties – the governing People's Party (PP) and the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) – of having excluded them from this and previous processes. The bill was approved on Wednesday by 85% of the Spanish Parliament, but only with the votes from the PP, the PSOE and the Spanish nationalist and populist UPyD. The Catalan and Basque conservative nationalists have abstained, while the left-wing Catalan parties have voted against it. The CiU was an essential part of the consensus of the 1978 Constitution, which once again proves to be broken.

The King's succession process will not have the explicit support from Catalan nationalists

June 4, 2014 08:41 PM | ACN

The Centre-Right pro-Catalan State Coalition, Convergència i Unió (CiU), which runs the Catalan Government and was an essential part of Spain's Transition from dictatorship to democracy, will not vote in favour of the law regulating the King's abdication. The CiU, which has played a crucial role in Spanish politics, has decided to abstain in the Spanish Parliament's vote, in line with its support of Catalonia's self-determination process. All other Catalan parties are expected to oppose the succession process, with the exception of the Catalan socialist Party (PSC) –part of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) – and the Catalan branch of the People's Party (PP). In his first speech after his father's abdication announcement, the soon-to-be Felipe VI promised "to serve […] our beloved Spain", "a nation, a political and social community, united, diverse, which deepens its root in a millenary history".

Desmond Tutu urges Spanish authorities to engage in Catalan self-determination debate "like adults"

June 3, 2014 07:27 PM | ACN

The South-African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has travelled to Barcelona to receive the XXVI Premi Internacional Catalunya, the highest tribute the Catalan Government accords following an independent jury's decision. The award recognises people who have made significant contributions to Humankind. Addressing journalists on Tuesday morning, ahead of the evening award ceremony in Barcelona, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate spoke of the Spanish authorities' necessity of an open dialogue about Catalan independence. Tutu was surprised that such a vote could take place in Scotland but not in Catalonia. He stated that Spain's denial of the strong support for self-rule only exacerbates the problem. At the press conference, the Archbishop also touched upon the subject of King Juan Carlos' abdication, saying he believed a monarchy could be a force for good when "it helps draw people together", although he also underlined that all human beings are equal.

A modern King respecting self-determination or a new Republic: the reactions from Catalonia

June 2, 2014 09:21 PM | ACN

Catalan parties, business associations and other institutions have reacted  to the abdication of King Juan Carlos announced this Monday morning. All the left-wing parties except the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) – which is part of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) – have called for a referendum on the monarchy's continuity and the instauration of a Republic. In fact, a series of demonstrations were held in several Catalan cities demanding a new Republic. The other widespread reaction came from those not questioning the monarchy, although all of them ask for a "modern King." Instead, most of them ask Crown Prince Felipe to be sensitive to the Catalans' will to self-determination and they expect he will act as a mediator to enable a negotiated way out to the current political conflict.

Juan Carlos I, the King who oversaw transition from dictatorship to democracy in Spain

June 2, 2014 09:07 PM | ACN

As King Juan Carlos I announced the end of his 38 year reign, he will be remembered as the Head of State who drove the transition to democracy after the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, and overcame the coup d'état on 23 February 1981. In 1969, Franco appointed him his successor, and he took the throne on 22 November 1975.  Within months King Juan Carlos had chosen Adolfo Suárez as the first Spanish Prime Minister after Franco's Dictatorship. Once the Spanish Constitution was approved in 1978 and parliamentary monarchy established after the 1981 coup, the King enjoyed years of relative stability as one of Europe´s most popular monarchs. However, since 2011, his image has deteriorated as a result of a long running corruption investigation into the business dealings of his daughter and her husband, and in 2012 his reputation was further tarnished by a €10,000 hunting trip to Botswana during Spain´s deep economic crisis.

"Spain can change the monarch, but Catalonia's political process goes on", states Catalan President

June 2, 2014 03:43 PM | ACN

After the abdication of King Juan Carlos was announced this Monday morning, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, made a statement in which he emphasised that Catalonia's self-determination process was continuing. Mas wished the Crown Prince and soon-to-be new King Felipe "good luck" and "to make wise decisions and be successful, because we want things to work out for Spain, and the monarchy represents the Spanish State." However, he asked the new King and the rest of Spanish institutions "to respect the Catalans' will" to hold a self-determination vote in order "to decide on our collective future, based on mutual respect and loyal cooperation". Such a vote has been scheduled by a large majority of Catalan parties for 9November, 2014.

Catalan parties praise Suárez's courage in restoring Catalonia's autonomy and breaking Franco's laws

March 24, 2014 08:17 PM | ACN

All the political reactions to the death of former Spanish Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez highlight his crucial role leading Spain from Franco’s Dictatorship to Democracy, as well as his capacity to build consensus. However, Madrid-based politicians are stressing how he worked for the  unity of Spain and conviviality among its citizens. Meanwhile, Catalan parties are emphasising Suárez's courage in ending Franco's laws and how he worked to institutionalise what was already normal at street level. For instance, the Catalan President, Artur Mas, pointed out how Suárez restored Catalonia's autonomy in September 1977 before the approval of the Constitution in December 1978. Suárez, who had reached top positions within Franco's Regime, was appointed Prime Minister by King Juan Carlos in June 1976, seven months after the dictator's death.

The Secretary General of the Catalan Socialist Party asks the King of Spain to abdicate

February 20, 2013 10:03 PM | CNA

Pere Navarro, the Secretary General of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), has publicly asked Juan Carlos “to resign” and ensure “a quiet replacement” in favour of the Crown Prince Felipe. According to Navarro, “a dedicated Republican”, the abdication is “necessary” and would “answer the needs of our times”. Navarro is aiming for Felipe to play “a relevant role to mediate the deep changes required in our country”. Immediately after this, the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) – which the PSC is part of as a federated member – rejected Navarro’s proposal and said they considered it to be “totally inadequate”. In the last few months, due to corruption scandals and other incidents, popular support of the monarchy has fallen in Spain.

The Catalan President emphasises the fact that his meeting with the King of Spain shows Catalonia’s “willingness to talk”

January 31, 2013 10:13 PM | CNA

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, and the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, met on Thursday for the first time since Mas was re-elected president and the Catalan Parliament approved a Declaration of Sovereignty of the People of Catalonia. The meeting lasted 45 minutes and none of the participants officially commented afterwards. However, Mas, once in Barcelona, referred to it during a literary prize ceremony. The Catalan President underlined that “we will always have to go and explain ourselves” regarding Catalonia’s self-determination process. According to him, this proves Catalonia’s “willingness to always talk”. Besides, Mas also explained to the monarch that the current deficit targets imposed on the Autonomous Communities are not allowing them to guarantee the Welfare State.