Photo of Juan Carlos I, former King of Spain
On Friday, the regional parliament of Catalonia passed a non-binding motion denouncing the monarchy following the recent decision of the former Spanish King, Juan Carlos I, to go into exile.
The house was presented with the proposal, “Catalonia is a republic and does not want a king” and it received 69 votes in favour and 65 against, allowing the motion to pass.
This comes after the royal announcement from four days ago that Juan Carlos had made the decision to leave Spain amid a number of related scandals for which he was under investigation. The former King stated in the letter released by the royal palace on Monday that he did not wish to trouble his son’s reign with “the public repercussions that certain past events in (his) private life are generating”.
Juan Carlos is currently being considered for investigation by the Spanish Supreme Court which is looking at the supposed commissions paid for the contract of a high-speed rail line between the Saudi holy cities of Mecca and Medina, awarded to a Spanish consortium for work in 2011. He is also related to a money-laundering probe in Switzerland which is examining how two offshore accounts of his came to hold significant sums of money. The ex-monarch has not commented on any allegations and his whereabouts have yet to be officially confirmed, leading to much speculation as to where he might be.
The Catalan parliament, dominated by three separatist parties, has been critical of Juan Carlos’ self-exile. Catalan leader, Quim Torra stated in a special monarchy-related meeting with the legislative body that “Neither Spaniards nor Catalans deserve such a loud and ridiculous scandal on an international scale.”
He also said;
“We Catalans do not have a king and we do not want one… What authority will we have to enforce the rules against corruption if we accept a royal family that escapes when they are investigated after taking millions and millions of euros in terrible business commissions?”
Catalonia, long divided over the subject of independence, has recently witnessed notable anti-government protests amid royal visits. Its dominant separatist parties in the regional parliament do not recognise the current monarchy and have been pushing for an independent Catalan Republic.