Felipe VI delivers his most anticipated speech before the investigations to his father and amid the noise of sabers


The king he’s been silent for months about the serious controversies in which the Royal House has been involved. Felipe VI was silent before investigations affecting your father for his opaque accounts in Switzerland, his undeclared cards and the alleged collection of illegal commissions. Zarzuela was limited, in the middle of August, to issue a statement in which announced the departure of Juan Carlos I from Spain. He did so five months after the current monarch renounce his father’s inheritance and withdraw his public salary just one day after the declaration of the state of alarm. Felipe VI has also remained absent after the umpteenth attempt by the extreme right to patrimonialize his figure and before the claim of a group of retired soldiers for involving him, the supreme command of the Armed Forces, in his coup plans to unseat the progressive government .

Anti-corruption investigates King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofía and several of their relatives for the use of opaque credit cards

Anti-corruption investigates King Juan Carlos for the use of opaque credit cards

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For all this, the Christmas Eve speech that the king will deliver this Thursday at 9:00 p.m. has become the most anticipated since its proclamation, six years ago. The expectation is maximum before an intervention that was recorded on Tuesday and that has been closely supervised by the Executive of Pedro Sánchez. In recent days, the dialogue has been constant and direct between the first vice president, Carmen Calvo, on the part of the Government, and the head of the Royal House, Jaime Alfonsín, on the part of Zarzuela. A first version of the text arrived at Moncloa on Saturday night but, after some corrections, it was given the final approval before yesterday. The speech is also in the hands of the Popular Party.

Sources familiar with the writing of the text confirm to elDiario.es that there will be allusions to the King Emeritus, although it is most likely that these are subtle and indirect. Thus, it could be expected that Felipe VI will manifest himself, for example, in defense of the equality of all Spaniards before the courts, just as his own father did in the past. In addition, a clear commitment of the monarch for democracy, the Constitution, and the legitimacy of all State institutions will be heard. All in full campaign of PP and Vox against the progressive government, which they accuse of “dictatorial” and call “regime”, in addition to assuring that they want to end the monarchy itself, the Magna Carta and the rights and freedoms contained in it.

In the Zarzuela They are so aware of the deterioration that the monarchical institution is going through for the alleged corruption of Juan Carlos I, such as the fact that Felipe VI plays a large part of his credibility before the Spanish with the Christmas speech, which they consider to be even more important than that of his coronation. The last public statement of the king took place last week, on December 16, on the occasion of the delivery of the CEIM 2020 business awards, and he limited himself exclusively to praising the business sector for the difficulties it has gone through after the outbreak of the pandemic .

The main controversies

There was no allusion to his father, the king emeritus, who at the beginning of the month paid about 700,000 euros to regularize his situation with the Treasury for expenses of different types paid with cards black -for that Anti-corruption investigates Juan Carlos I, Queen Sofia and several of her relatives – after her abdication, when she was no longer inviolable. He has still not said anything about the assets he accumulated over 40 years, the accounts in tax havens or the alleged illegal commissions collected. Neither before nor after expatriate to the United Arab Emirates, where he lives locked in “a golden cage”, with severe physical limitations and “out of control because he no longer listens to anyone”, according to the government version.

Nor has there been any official statement from the Zarzuela regarding the attempt by a group of retired soldiers to involve the current king in their plans to discredit the progressive government, through the letter they sent him at the end of November in which they defended the postulates of the extreme right. The Royal House did not make any statement public or take an unofficial position, despite the fact that the letter appealed directly to Felipe VI.

In the letter, those ex-military commanders assured that Spain is experiencing a “deteriorating” situation, in which “national cohesion” runs serious risks, “both in its political, economic and social aspects.” They blamed the “social-communist government, supported by filoetarras and independentistas” for all this, whom they accused of threatening “with the decomposition of the National Unity”, before showing their support and loyalty to the monarch “in these difficult moments for the Homeland”.

The head of state has also not wanted to value the controversial WhatsApp chat in which other retired senior military officers, in this case the Air Force, they made death threats and expressed wishes for coups d’état against an Executive that they consider illegitimate, conversations on the messaging network that the Ministry of Defense put in the hands of the Prosecutor’s Office.

The campaign of the rights

The strategy of trying to involve the king in his crusade against the Government has been constant on the part of the Popular Party and Vox. The formation of Santiago Abascal included Felipe VI as an argument for the motion of censure that thwarted Congress on October 22 and that portrayed the deputies of the extreme right alone in their seats. During his speech, the candidate in Catalonia, Ignacio Garriga, cheered the king from the rostrum, which were chanted by part of his bench.

In recent months, the strategy has also been used by Pablo Casado’s party, which has linked the king to the blockade maintained by the PP since 2018 to the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), which has been in operation for two years. functions and continues with the conservative majority that was decided by popular and socialists in 2013, when Mariano Rajoy ruled with an absolute majority. One of the arguments put forward by Casado to maintain that blockade is that the PP cannot sit down to negotiate with the part of the United We Can Executive, which demands transparency from the Royal Household and does not hide its republican claims.

In the current context – in which the requests for investigation into the Juan Carlos I scandals are interpreted by some sectors of the right as coup movements that seek to bring down the democratic regime – the king has never wanted to deactivate those attempts by the right to patrimonialize its figure and appropriate the role it grants the Constitution to the Head of State in his second title, when he says that the monarch is the “symbol” of the “unity and permanence” of the State, that “arbitrates and moderates the regular functioning of the institutions, assumes the highest representation of the Spanish State in international relations, especially with nations of its historical community, and exercises the functions expressly attributed to it by the Constitution and the laws “.

That is why every word, every phrase that Felipe VI pronounces tonight in his traditional Christmas address, will be scrutinized later by analysts and political parties in search of a clear commitment from the monarch for the cleaning of the institution, the break with his father’s past and the commitment of the Royal House in favor of democracy or to emphasize the legitimacy of the Government and the other institutions of the State.

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