Spain’s King to abdicate due economic and political reasons

The 2nd of June of 2014 the President of the government Mariano Rajoy announced at a press conference that King Don Juan Carlos was decided to abdicate to the throne. Several Members, including Cayo Lara the representative of the Plural Left, were reclaming that a referendum was necessary to decide whether the Spanish society wants a system of monarchical or republican state.

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The constitutional monarchy is a softened form of monarchy as it assumes that the supreme law or constitution of the region that governs basically controls the king’s power. The constitutional monarchy is much more modern than the absolute monarchy since the former is a response to the abuse of power that the second represented in many parts of the world, especially in some European countries. This power comes from that is granted by the people and not po Divine, as was the case of absolute monarchy. This is because it is considered that the monarchy is part of the tradition of the country, such as in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth component regions in Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and in some regions of Southeast Asia.

Spain has been characterized throughout its history by having a monarchy whose trajectory goes from the dynastic union of the peninsular kingdoms in the descendants of the Catholic Monarchs, reforming for the new regime to the present in Spain, interrupted only in the periods of the first republic from 1873 to 1874, the Second republic from 1931 to 1939 and the Franco regime from 1939 to 1975. since the union of the Kingdom of Castile, the Kingdom of Aragon and the rest of the peninsulare territories have been many changes in monariquia as the arrival of the Habsburg dynasty, with the most important period of the Catholic Monarchs and the arrival of the Bourbons. As the end of absolutism that led to parliamentary or constitutional monarchy.


The King abdication occur in a particular economic situation. In fact since last quarter of 2008 and the starting of 2009 Spain has entered in recession for the first time since 1993. GDP in 2009 contracted by 3.7% ending a 15-year growth trend and in march 2009 soared to 17.4% with 4 million of employed people.

The Government tried to boost the economy with a series of economic measures like: spending, extended unemployment benefits, and loan guarantees and at the same time it attempted to cut spending, privatized industries, and boost competitiveness through labor market reforms. But despite the Government’s efforts the unemployment rate raised from 8% in 2007 (pre-crisis level) to 20% in 2010.

To face the problematic situation in 2010 the Spanish Parliament approved 15bn-euro austerity package and in response to thesemeasures thousands of workers demonstrated against government spending cuts and plans to raise the retirement age by two years to 67.

The decline of the construction sector, the oversupply of housing, the falling consumer spending, and the exports collapse perfectly reflected the plight of Spain’s recession. Especially the collapse of construction sector and real estate market has highly exposed the Spanish banks to failure.As requested from Eurozone countries in 2012 the Spanish Government created “bad bank” to offload toxic property assets of indebted banking sector in order to obtain an bailout loan for Spain.

And finally in November 2012 the European Commission approves the government’s plans to nationalize and restructure the troubled banks like Bankia, Banco de Valencia, NCG and Catalunya Caixa, which thanks to loans to home buyers and constructors have obtained great losses.

In Spain and in Europe, the European elections were considered and discussed traditionally as minor elections, but this time, that perception was not true and the results changed the entire political map in Spain. The traditional bi-partisanship now is over with the results of the 2014 elections, the two dominant political parties of Spain, PP and PSOE obtained just the 49% of the total votes, to put it in perspective we need to saw what was the result of the 2009 European elections were both combined obtained the 80% of total votes.


The new political sphere in Spain is quite different, divided in three main problems, first of all the end of the traditional bi-partisanship, secondly the ascent of the extreme left-wing party Podemos and at the end the ascent of the traditional secessionist movements in Catalonia and the Basque country.

This huge change in the political map in Spain is causing a lot of changes, first of all the secretary of the Socialist Party (PSOE) Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba presented his resignation due the bad results of his party in the elections.

The king of Spain Juan Carlos I has also been affected by the results of this elections, we need to remind that the principal political parties that support the monarchy are PP and PSOE and now with the new political map in Spain and the end of bi-partisanship it’s not clear if the king will have enough support in the next national elections. Regarding this the King decided to abdicate and with the support of PP and PSOE draw the necessary law that allow his son Felipe to become the new king without wait for the next elections.


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There has never been a succession since the re-introduction of the monarchy after Franco’s dictatorship was over. With the Salic Law, the first descendants of King Juan Carlos the Infanta Elena and Infanta Cristina can’t accede to the throne, and that is why The Prince of Asturias Felipe VI will be the one who would occupy the throne.

The Senate this afternoon approved the Organic Law to regulate the abdication of His Majesty the King with the support of 90% of the Senators present (233 votes of the 258 cast), 5 votes against and 20 abstentions. Act of abdication in which reading will consist of the Organic Law of Abdication and who will attend the Prime Minister, ministers, presidents of the autonomous communities, the President of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the General Council of Judicial Power . Among others also will be invited Iberoamerican Secretary General and several former government as Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Jose Maria Aznar and Felipe González. So tomorrow, 19th of June, Philip VI will be crowned King of Spain.


Javier Cava

Carlos Farré

Simone Pianeselli


On May 11th, 2014, referendum for independency was held in the region of Donetsk. About 90 % of the voters had casted their ballots in favour of independency. According to Ukrainian government but also, according to international community such as EU and especially UK, this referendum was completely illegal. 

William Hague, Foreign Secretary to UK government expressed his stance that the whole process of referendum was ‘irregular and illegal’,  therefore; it cannot be taken seriously by the international community. In a meanwhile, Russian minister of foreign affairs, Sergei Lavrov said that Russian government will respect the decision of referendum.

During the voting period, many incidents were reported such as threats from pro-Russian armed activist, forcing native Ukrainians to either vote in favour or, not to vote at all. There were also many technical issues such as, lack of polling stations, out of date voter lists, no proper checks on identity, multiple voting and even coercive methods during the plebiscite.

These independency issues in eastern Ukraine are just yet again one more example of tails of history which were never fully solved in the past. The territorial issue dates back from early 20’s when Lenin and the communist party was constructing the federal Ukrainian state within the USSR. 


Retrieved from Pakistan Defence, Blog about Discussion in ‘Strategic & Geopolitical Issues’


It seems that Ukrainian government feels powerless and helpless against the changes happening in the country, with the pro Russian forces, specifically with Donetsk. Although the Ukrainian government is weak against the constant attacks, allies from NATO like Japan, the United States and Canada have imposed sanctions and they have warned Russia that there could be more in the future. In another perspective, the Ukrainian military has stopped with the recruitment.

Putin, despite his petitions to delay the referendum, has admitted the result of Donetsk and has also declared to be ready for negotiations, in what Kiev’s Government defines as ‘an effort to create division and destabilization in the country’.  The illegality of the referendum lies at first in the national law of Ukraine, which does not recognize the proclamation of such an enquiry without the government’s approval. The government has condemned this fact in Donetsk and previous pro-Russian incidents to the International Community.President of Ukraine stated that, ‘I would like to call your attention to the political issue. That small group of terrorists will be treated according to the law, but millions of Ukrainians, they’re really seeking changes’.



Retrieved from BBC News Europe,Separatists, including the self-proclaimed co-chairman of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin (C), want greater autonomy from Kiev


The success of the ‘Euromaiden,’ the movement in Kiev, unsettled Moscow, perhaps fearing the loss of another former ally to eastward European and NATO expansion.  David Clark of the ‘Russian Foundation’ said that, lacking natural barriers such as mountain ranges along its western borders, the country’s leaders have been preoccupied with ‘the maintenance of a sphere of influence over the countries around it as a source of security’.  Perhaps Russian activities in Eastern Ukraine are evidence that Putin is attempting to build a more reliable pro-Russian state between itself and the new, increasingly pro-Western regime in Kiev. 

On the Ukrainian side, the increasingly vocal rhetoric of the interim Kiev government suggests that it will be some time before a normalisation of Kiev-Moscow relations can take place.  The decision of Russia to double the amount Kiev must pay for the import of Russian gas, and Putin’s demands that Ukraine pay in advance for all gas imports from 1st June can only signal a further deterioration in relations between Russia and Western Ukraine. 

Although Russia is trying to open dialogues with the EU, the sanctions implemented will increase if, as it said, it accepts the Referendum results and the annexing of Donetsk, leaving Ukraine in a weaker position politically, geographically and economically.


Europa se resiste

El presidente de Turquía, Abdulá Gul, ha declarado que “el mundo no se detiene en la Unión Europea” ante los obstáculos que se enfrenta el país para unirse a dicho grupo.

Es evidente que se nos han puesto obstáculos delante, pero el mundo no se reduce en la Unión Europea“, según las declaraciones que ha hecho Gul al periódico francés ‘Le Figaro’. La organización está dividida ante la posibilidad de ofrecerle ser miembro de pleno derecho, aunque es Francia quien se muestra más escéptico a la inclusión de Turquía.

“La elección estratégica que hemos hecho a su favor (de la UE) no nos detiene a la hora de desarrollar relaciones que hemos establecido por todo el mundo”, explicó Gul.

Acerca del rechazo de ciudadanos europeos a la inclusión de Turquía, Gul declaró que si las negociaciones siguen su curso, puede que algunos países, como Francia, tengan que recurrir a un referéndum sobre el tema. “Si el pueblo dice no, respetaremos su decisión”, declaró. Leer más de esta entrada

La U.E califica de éxito el referéndum realizado en Sudán.

Bandera de Sudán del SurLa U.E envió recientemente a Sudán una misión de observación electoral para comprobar si el referéndum sobre si es necesario independizar Sudán del Sur  se llevaba a cabo correctamente. En un primer informe preliminar los resultados son positivos, el referéndum de autodeterminación ha sido ”creible”. La misión ha comunicado lo siguiente: ”La misión de observación electoral de la Unión Europea valora el proceso de votación en el referéndum en Sur de Sudán como creíble y bien organizado, en un ambiente por lo general pacífico”.

Asimismo hay que señalar que durante una rueda de prensa en Jartum, la jefa de la misión de observación de la Unión Europea, la belga Veronique de Keyser, eurodiputada socialista afirmó que el referéndum había sido ”un logro extraordinario” así como ”un importante hito para aplicar el Acuerdo de Paz Global del que también es testigo la UE”. Hemos de recordar que este acuerdo fue impulsado por la ONU con el objetivo de promover la paz y el desarrollo de los derechos humanos en varios estados africanos.

La participación en el evento ha sido masiva. Se calcula que apróximadamente un 90 por ciento de la población ha participado. Según los estudios también se preveé que gane el ‘Sï’ por mayoría, a favor de la independencia de Sudán del Sur. El referémdum forma parte de lo pactado en los Acuerdos de Paz firmados entre el Norte y el Sur en 2005 y que supusieron el fín de la guerra civil. Los resultados oficiales del referéndum no estarán disponibles hasta finales del mes de Enero.

Los datos de la misión de observación enviada por la Unión Europea han sido elaborados por más de 70 personas dividas en tres grupos de trabajo: 32 observadores de corta estancia establecidos en el territorio desde que comenzó el estudio, el 9 de Julio, 32 observadores de larga estancia establecidos por todo el país de los cuales 16 llegaron en Noviembre para supervisar el proceso de registro de votantes junto con las autoridades locales, así como 10 expertos situados en Jartum y Juba para coordinar toda la misión, de los cuales 3 llegaron también en Noviembre.

Otras organizaciones que han enviado misiones aparte de la Unión Europea son: Unión Africana y Liga Árabe. Ambas para contribuir a supervisar la celebración del referéndum.

Próximo nuevo país africano, Sudán del Sur

Ayer día 15 de Enero, finalizó el referéndum que determinará la creación de una nueva nación independiente de Sudán.

El referéndum de independencia que está teniendo lugar estos días, lo determinará la sociedad que habita en las regiones que componen el Sur de Sudán. La realización de este referéndum, es la única cuestión abordada por el actual gobierno Sudanés ya que, gestiones de vital importancia para un nuevo estado como un plan de economía, las fronteras, la democracia y la repartición de la deuda externa no han sido aludidas por el momento.

La masiva participación que está teniendo el referéndum, augura el resultado de un “si” sobre la independencia del sur, pero los resultados no saldrán a la luz hasta la mitad del próximo mes de Febrero. El actual presidente del país, Omar al-Bashir ha afirmado, aceptará rotundamente el resultado de las elecciones.

El problema está en que no es tan sencilla la declaración de un nuevo estado. Sudán del Sur, que no es el nombre definitivo ni decidido para la futura nación, tendrá su capital en la ciudad de Juba, pero…¿ cualés serán sus fronteras? ¿quién aportará capital para el nuevo gobierno? …

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Nuevas conversaciones entre Marruecos y el Frente Polisario

El gobierno marroquí y el Frente Polisario el jueves reabrieron las negociaciones para llegar a un acuerdo y resolver el conflicto del Sáhara Occidental.

La negociación durará hasta el próximo sábado y es el cuarto encuentro realizado desde 2009. Tienen lugar en la localidad neoyorquina de Greentree, en Long Islan  auspiciadas por las Naciones Unidas y en presencia de Algeria y Mauritania.

Dirigen las negociaciones el canciller marroquí, Taieb Fassi Fihri y el presidente del Parlamento Saharaui Jatri Aduh acompañados por Christopher Ross como enviado especial de la ONU.

Anterior a este contacto hubo una cita previa a principios de noviembre, tras el ataque al campamento  Gdeim Izik. Tal ataque hizo que el presidente de la República Árabe Democrática Saharaui, solicitara al secretario general de la ONU, Ban Ki-moon, el envío de una misión internacional que investigue la agresión.

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