The King has taken advantage of the 40th anniversary of the Constitution, which is celebrated on December 6, to make a vindication of the Fundamental Law as a value and framework in which to face the political challenges posed by Spain. In the final part of his speech this Friday at the Campoamor theater in Oviedo, as the culmination of the Princess of Asturias Awards, Felipe VI has referred to the Constitution as "fruit of concord between Spaniards" and "a lesson in coexistence that dignifies political life."
Words that are more relevant in a context in which the country faces from Catalonia an attempt to unbundle the State, whose unit the King is guarantor, and with increasing pressure from the political extremes against the so-called 78 regime, which led to the change from dictatorship to democracy and agreed on the guidelines in which the future of Spain had to be developed.
In an act in which the three powers of the State have turned to the King, after he was reprimanded by the Parliament of Catalonia, Felipe VI has emphasized the achievements that the constitutional framework for Spain has favored and has called to celebrate "a truly unforgettable date in our history", that of December 6, 1978, "day in which the Spanish people ratified our Constitution in referendum " And he pointed out that this anniversary, which arrives at a convulsive political moment, will be celebrated "as it should and in justice deserves" the text of 78.
In that sense, he has referred to the Fundamental Law "as a great example of which we can feel deeply proud", "as the best example of the generosity, maturity and responsibility of an entire people that won democracy and freedom" "Because democracy and freedom is what represents and means for Spain, for the Spanish people, our Constitution," he stressed in the middle of a burst of applause.
The head of state has stressed that the Constitution was the result of the consensus of the Spaniards "united by a deep desire for reconciliation and peace" and "for the firm will to live in democracy." The Fundamental Law, has highlighted, "recovered for the Spanish people the national sovereignty", "returned to the Spaniards their freedom and their status as citizens" and "also recognized the diversity of their origins, cultures, languages and territories".
In recent years, with the Catalan independence pro-independence challenge, the King has made constant appeals to the Constitution. He did it on November 13, 2015, one day after the Constitutional Court suspend the independence declaration approved by the Catalan Parliament, when in an act of the Marca España it affirmed that the constitutional principles "will remain fully valid". "The Constitution will prevail, no one doubts it," he assured.
He insisted again on the delivery of the National Culture Awards 2016, in Cuenca, at another time of maximum political emergency. It was September 21, 2017, after the approval in the Parliament of Catalonia laws for independence against the opinion of lawyers. Then the King endorsed that the Constitution "prevail over any bankruptcy of democratic coexistence."
At the award ceremony, the King highlighted "the extraordinary work of the winners", from which has highlighted "the value of knowledge, altruism, self-improvement, willingness and determination to achieve a better existence". "Your sensitivity and the vocation to transcend accompany you in your task and make you exceptional. You are, for all of this, a symbol of our yearnings, of the best ambitions and aspirations. And you are for your depth of thought and action, for your daily effort and your constant reflection, "he praised.
The Princess of Asturias Foundation has distinguished in this edition with its awards the film director Martin Scorsese (Arts), the journalist Alba Guillermoprieto (Communication and Humanities), the organization Amref Health Africa (International Cooperation), the climbers Reinhold Messner and Krzysztof Wielicki (Sports), the novelist Fred Vargas (Letras), the intellectual Michael J. Sandel (Social Sciences), the scientist Svante Pääbo (Scientific and Technical Research) and the oceanographic researcher Sylvia A. Earle (Concordia).
The King has had words for each and every one of them. From filmmaker Martin Scorsese, he has said that he "explodes the screen with pure emotions". Alma Guillermoprieto has defined her as "an essential journalist to understand the history of recent decades, especially in Latin America." She highlighted the "magnificent work" of the Amref Health Africa organization for "significantly improving the health of millions of people in the African continent ", as well as the" almost impossible challenges of climbers Reinhold Messner and Krzysztof Wielicki. The novelist Fred Vargas has been described as "a teacher in the art of immersing the reader in cross-stories". He has highlighted the "extraordinary ability to disseminate theories" of the philosopher Michael J. Sandel and the "wisdom and exquisite ability to imagine and put into practice different methods and techniques of genetic research" by Svante Pääbo. Finally, he highlighted the work of Dr. Sylvia A. Earle: "Nobody like her has studied the seas of the Earth and marine life."
The powerful media focus of the Princess of Asturias Awards, considered the most important in the world after the Nobel Prizes, always attracts protests from a variety of causes. For a few years, coinciding with the increase in samples of disaffection to the Crown, anti-monarchical protests try to exhibit their muscle along with those affected by labor disputes, who come to the vicinity of the Teatro Campoamor, where the gala is celebrated. The March of Dignity has focused on this edition its energy against the awards, "an event" that "causes rejection" to this movement "because from a corrupt and outdated foundation seeks to give prestige and wash the image to another institution more expired and corrupt still, the Monarchy. "
For this reason, they have held a series of protest events between October 18 and 20 with talks, round tables and, above all, what they call "parades against shame", which is the succulent point of the program. This march to protest against the Monarchy and the awards of the Princess of Asturias Foundation takes advantage of the big day of the contest and takes place between the Plaza del Ayuntamiento de Oviedo and the Plaza de la Escandalera, a few meters away from the parade of bagpipers and dancers ( about 850 people) that accompanies the guests to the ceremony from the Hotel de la Reconquista to the Campoamor Theater.
At that point where they cross, the Plaza de la Escandalera pays a deep tribute to its name. On one side of the square and on the other there are hundreds of republicans and some less monarchists, who strive to shout their slogans against the music of the bagpipes of the parade. The screams, the whistles, the boos and the bagpipes are the protagonists of a collision of many decibels, a struggle with agitation of tricolor and red flags in which the pipers end up imposing themselves, that with the power of their instruments suffocate the protest and the contraprotesta.