Is Spain a republic or a monarchy

"The monarchy is burned"

The survey on "Hispanic Day" on the future of the monarchy on October 12 shows a clear trend: In a potential referendum on the future of Spain, almost 42 percent would vote for a republic and just under 35 percent for maintaining the monarchy. In 2014, Juan Carlos had to abdicate because of his scandals and gave the throne to Felipe. This was widely seen as an attempt to save the monarchy. Is this salvation in danger?

The monarchy will fall, there is no way to save it. All the strategies that are being used now can only delay this. Juan Carlos is completely worn out and if there is also an indictment ... So far there has only been one campaign against the father, the son is deliberately excluded. When you have settled with Juan Carlos, however, further events relating to Felipe will come to light. He can't get out of there.

Are you surprised that in the face of the investigation against him for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion, Juan Carlos fled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)?

That he is there explains itself. He was often there in the past. For me this is related to what his former lover Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein testified, that he kept coming back from Arab countries with his suitcases full. He was always in Abu Dhabi several times a year. I am particularly amazed at his cheek. It is very uncomfortable that he is going where he received bribes from, as we have known for a long time.

Does his location in exile have something to do with the fact that there is no extradition agreement between the UAE and Switzerland, where the investigation began?

That speaks for the Emirates. But most of all they will try to hinder the investigation, to delay it as long as possible. Juan Carlos is already 82 years old and the UAE will probably oppose any extradition. I don't think he's completely evading justice. But we have to prepare for a long legal process.

What does it mean that Spain has started its own investigations after Switzerland?

This is an attempt to control and slow down the Swiss investigation.

In view of the "inviolability" accorded to a monarch, does Juan Carlos have anything to fear here? Here, money laundering and tax evasion are being investigated after his abdication in 2014, but not for corruption.

He would have a great deal to fear in Spain if one began to seriously investigate everything that was going on. I don't think he has to sit in the dock here. The Spanish public prosecutor's office will probably tell the Swiss that there is no need to investigate any further, as this is already happening in Spain. It's a form of control. However, he has to be formally charged here, which has not yet been the case. If you do not do that, the more serious indictment in Switzerland cannot be prevented. Time has now been gained. It is weighed. Charging the former head of state and military would be a scandal, even if he was later declared innocent. It will be very difficult to save him, but all kinds of legal and political maneuvers will be used to try.

What role does the social democratic government under Pedro Sánchez play in what many call "flight"? For you, Sánchez was the royal candidate in the power struggle in his party.

When Sánchez replaced Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba in the party leadership in 2014, it was even alleged that the royal family installed him. It is clear that he had the consent from there. Sánchez fulfills his role of defending the monarchy and does what he can.

Are there direct connections between Sánchez and the Royal House?

I am not aware of any of this, but it is clear that he has an eye-catching résumé. It may be a coincidence that he was at the same high school as the wife of the current king, where only the crème de la crème comes together. Later he studied at a private, expensive and ultra-Catholic university.

What role does the monarchy play at the end of the Franco dictatorship? After all, it was Franco who chose Juan Carlos as his successor.

It was about putting a new cloak on Franquism. In the so-called transition to democracy, the monarchy had the function of leaving the crimes of the dictatorship unpunished and of maintaining the structures of power, as in the military, the judiciary and the economy. Everything remained untouched and it went on as before. Now the monarchy is burned. It no longer serves power either, as the "transition" and the 1978 regime are increasingly being questioned. One is now ready to eliminate the monarchy in order to try again to preserve the structures of power without real changes. It is noticeable that everything is aimed at Juan Carlos and not at the companies that have enriched themselves through his work. The oligarchy wants to save itself by putting another cloak on the regime.

Why do you consider the monarchy to be of central importance in the Spanish state?

Franco not only made the monarch head of state, but also head of the military and thus entrusted the armed forces to him. But one should not underestimate the symbolic importance of the monarchy in the population. That is why the narrative of Juan Carlos was created as the savior of the 1981 coup attempt. In addition, he was able to gather other sectors of society around him.

Will there be real reforms under the self-proclaimed "most progressive government"? Could there be a referendum on a return to the republic against which the generals put up in 1936?

No. I don't think this government will hold a referendum. The Social Democrats (PSOE) are deeply involved in the monarchy. The party knows that its party sizes would also collapse with the monarchy. They ruled while Juan Carlos played his games. They looked the other way or were involved in the dark business, so the PSOE is in a quandary: It has to defend Juan Carlos. If she does this too hard, she will also fall over if he falls over.

And I don't see the Left Party Podemos that they would stand up for the republic, not even in pretense. An example makes this clear. When Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 and many people across the country spontaneously demonstrated for a return to the republic, Podemos did not support them. Party leader Pablo Iglesias did not return from Brussels, where he took his seat in the European Parliament after the good results in the elections. It was now clear to me that no such process would start from Podemos. Today they delay. Every excuse is right, like the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, King Felipe is now applauding instead of asking probing questions about his father.

Twenty years ago as "Patricia Sverlo" you made a decisive contribution to the demythization of Juan Carlos. Is there anything left of the myth that he put an end to the 1981 coup and saved democracy?

Yes. Unfortunately, these lies about what happened and are repeated today like a prayer wheel. This manipulation of history must finally stop. What Juan Carlos is doing now is bad, but back then ... The lies continue to be preached every day in the media and universities. This is the fascist mechanism whereby a lie, repeated only often enough, eventually becomes the truth. All evidence and truths that have long been known are being rolled down. The king was a necessary participant and took an active part. The coup on February 23, 1981 was planned in the royal palace with the secret service. An employee was even convicted of the planning. Even some preparatory meetings were held in the royal palace. Its representatives were involved in all meetings. For example, Sabino Fernández Campo, former Falangist and general secretary of Juan Carlos, was there. The convicted General Armada had a list of members for a provisional government when he stormed into parliament. It was approved by the royal family.

No one tried to legally attack the contents of your book 20 years ago. Shortly afterwards, however, the magazine and the publishing house "Ardi Beltza" (Black Sheep) were "temporarily" banned. The allegations that Ardi Beltza served the Basque underground organization ETA have never been proven. Were your revelations about Juan Carlos crucial to illegally closing another medium of communication?

Without doubt. The ban was directly related to the book. We would have liked to defend ourselves against an advertisement because we were able to prove everything that is in the book. We would have used the method for advertising. But they didn't dare to do that, they came with the ETA ... Pepe Rei, the director of the magazine, spent five months in prison. Then he was released. Another strategy was used: silence. And that works well in Spain with its media landscape. It was pretended that the book and the revelations didn't exist. But when journalists start researching the king, they always end up with me. Almost everyone who has dealt with the subject has read the book, but no one cites it. I hardly exist for the public either. After the events, I gave up journalism and now work as a teacher.

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