Le Figaro – AFP, 24/12/2022
Spain’s King Felipe VI delivers his traditional Christmas Eve speech, recorded on December 22, 2022 at the Royal Palace of La Zarzuela in Madrid. ANDRES BALLESTEROS / AFP
The King of Spain Felipe VI on Saturday December 24 called on Spaniards for “union” and “responsibility”, as the country is going through an unprecedented institutional crisis against a backdrop of clashes between the left-wing government and the opposition. conservative.
“Division makes democracies more fragile. Union, on the contrary, strengthens them. In Spain, we know this from our own experience,” said Felipe VI during his traditional Christmas speech, warning against the weakening of institutions. “I believe that, in these times, we all need to show responsibility and think constructively about the consequences that ignoring these risks have on our union, our coexistence and our institutions,” he said. added.
“Almost 45 years have passed since the approval of the Constitution” of 1978, which established democracy in Spain, and “of course many things have changed and will continue to change”, continued the king in this televised speech . “But the spirit that saw it born, its principles and its foundations, which are the work of all, cannot be weakened and must not fall into oblivion,” he insisted.
This speech comes as the government of Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and the Popular Party (PP), the main right-wing party, have multiplied the passes of arms in recent days, due to a deep disagreement on a judicial reform. This reform, intended to allow the renewal of four judges of the Constitutional Court, was voted last week by the deputies after having been added by the parties of the ruling coalition to a text of law modifying the Penal Code.
But it had to be withdrawn from the final text submitted Thursday to the senators after a veto from the Constitutional Court, seized by the PP. This veto provoked the anger of the left, who accused the Tribunal of “sequestering the institutions” and preventing Parliament from “legislating”. This crisis is the culmination of four years of tussle between the government and the opposition over the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), responsible for appointing the majority of the judges of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court.
The two parties accuse each other of wanting to lock down the judicial institution by imposing or maintaining judges of their political color there, one year before the legislative elections, scheduled for the end of 2023.