The management of Juan Carlos I’s departure from Spain announced Monday by the Royal House and the differences between government coalition partners, PSOE and Unidas Podemos, on the monarchy, have become the umpteenth argument of the Popular Party and Vox to discredit the progressive Executive. Since the departure of the King Emeritus was known, the parties of Pablo Casado and Santiago Abascal, who are fighting for the same right-wing electorate, have doubted the bet of the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, in favor of the parliamentary monarchy and have sown the suspicion of a possible regime change that would be brewing from Moncloa with the excuse of the crisis that the Royal House is experiencing.
Juan Carlos I’s ‘dangerous friendships’
Former President José María Aznar, a reference both for Casado – he was his political godfather, of whom he was Chief of Staff at FAES – and for Abascal – leader of the Basque PP when Aznar led the party -, has repeated over and over again in recent months this idea of ”regime change” to instill business and international fear towards Sánchez and delegitimize the coalition government for having come to power with the support of pro-independence forces and “batasunos“.
At the end of January, just a few weeks after the progressive Executive began its journey, Aznar launched that idea during a conference with Casado himself. “We are in a system of regime change that consists, as in the Second Republic, in which the center-right cannot govern,” he said. As explained by the FAES leader in the municipal elections of 1931, “the monarchical candidacies won and the republicans lost, except that they won in some large cities. The then government sent its prime minister to negotiate in jail with the republican committee. A to offer those who were in jail to take charge of the government. A nonsense like the one that is happening now, “he said.
Casado has also referred on more than one occasion to this alleged attempt at “regime change” that, in his opinion, the left is seeking from the Government. This was warned, for example, when at the worst moment of the pandemic Sánchez proposed some “new Moncloa Pacts” which finally – and at the request of the PP leader himself – resulted in the failed Commission for the Reconstruction of the Congress of Deputies, which did not achieve a broad consensus to address the necessary reforms after the health emergency.
Maroto: “They seek to overthrow the system”
The idea has now resurfaced on the right following the departure of the King Emeritus of Spain due to suspicions about the illicit origin of his fortune. Sowing doubts about the constitutional commitment of the PSOE, on Thursday, the PP spokesman in the Senate, Javier Maroto, assured that Sánchez defends the monarchy “with a small mouth” and ordered him to “stop short of Podemos and Pablo Iglesias” for his “attacks” on the institution by raising the need for a debate between the monarchy and the republic. Maroto reproached United Podemos for “hiding” the legacy of Juan Carlos I and “only wanting to focus on one part” with the aim of “overthrowing the system” of the parliamentary monarchy.
The PP, added Maroto this Friday in a interview at RNE, “It will never be an accomplice” of that strategy in his opinion “shared” by the members of the Executive against an institution that has fostered “an unknown prosperity” for Spain. “They are trying to overthrow the system,” pointed out the spokesman for the popular in the Upper House, urging Sánchez to “hit the table to tell all those who want to question the monarchy that they have no chance of doing so.”
“It is regrettable that in more than an hour of self-congratulatory appearance, Sánchez does not defend the King from the intolerable attacks of his vice president. The responsibility for any government action is his, as well as that of defending the Constitution from the threats of his partners” , said Casado himself on Tuesday in a Twitter message, also casting doubts about the President of the Government’s commitment to the State model, minutes after the press conference of the Chief Executive in which he took stock of the political course and reaffirmed his support for the monarchy.
On the same Monday that the flight of Juan Carlos I was known, the first message from the PP spokesperson in the Congress of Deputies, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, was to launch a defiant warning to the progressive Executive. “Lose all hope. You will not send the Transition into exile,” he said. On Tuesday, Álvarez de Toledo once again displayed her organic independence and, paradoxically, asked Sánchez for a “Government of Constitutionalist Concentration.” The idea of the grand coalition defended by the parliamentary spokesperson she was not supported by any of her fellow ranks, in a new episode of the division that exists in the leadership of the PP over the strategy to be adopted by the main opposition party.
Fear of regime change has been unequivocally unfounded also from Vox. Through various messages from their leaders or on their official Twitter account, since the departure of the king emeritus was known on Monday, the extreme right has accused the government of taking advantage of this flight to “continue trampling on state institutions.” “The Nation is not going to allow a gang of soulless, corrupt and whitewashing murderers to steal the future, freedom and the desire to continue giving continuity to our history,” said one of his messages. In Vox’s opinion, the Government does not care that “coexistence is dynamited.”
On Wednesday, the spokesperson for Vox in Congress, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, went even further when talking about the march of the king emeritus: “I have no doubt that it is one more step in that intention of the PSOE and Podemos to finish with the monarchy. ” In a interview on Telecinco, the leader of the extreme right considered that the coalition forces not only intend to end the monarchy, but also the “unity of Spain” and the “regime of 78”.
Abascal added himself to this thesis in another interview, in Europa Press, in which he considered that the debate on the monarchy and the republic “is opening it in a fraudulent and tortuous way We can with the encouragement of the PSOE, which is allowing it.”