18 junio, 2014
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.
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.
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.