King Felipe VI has used the traditional Christmas Eve speech to the nation to deliver a very politically charged address to the Spanish people.
The king warned that Spain “risks”, “division” and “fragility”.
“The democracies in the world are exposed to many risks that are not new, and Spain is no exception”, he said. In addition to saying that “the erosion of the institutions” is one of these risks, he stated that “division makes democracies more fragile”.
On 15th December the Spanish Constitutional Court had called an extraordinary plenary meeting to break the deadlock over Pedro Sanchez´s PSOE coalition government attempt to reform the Constitutional Court itself and renewal of its membership.
“We need to strengthen our institutions”, the Spanish monarch said in the broadcast from the Zarzuela palace in Madrid.
The two major political parties, the PSOE and the PP, have been unable to reach agreement over the latter’s constant refusal to renew the membership of the judiciary’s governing body, the General Council of the Judiciary.
Felipe demanded that the institutions ensure that they “respond to the general interest ” and exercise their functions with “respect to the Constitution and the laws”.
He concluded by asking for “reflection” on the “consequences that ignoring these risks” could have on social coexistence between citizens.
The Spanish Monarchy is considered by many commentators to be itself a fragile institution, made more so by the political fallout from the former king, Juan Carlos´s financial irrergularities and subsequent investigation.
Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of his son in 2014 and in 2020, left Spain to live in exile in the United Arab Emirates.