30th July 2021
Felipe VI upside down photo
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Madrid to take ‘monarchy investigation committee’ to court

The Spanish government is to take the Catalan parliament committee formed to investigate the monarchy to the Constitutional Court.

The chamber, the seat of which is in Barcelona, launched the committee last week to look into potential ‘criminal or irregular’ activities of the Spanish monarchy.

This includes those aimed at ‘forcing the transfer of the registered office of banks, large companies and multinationals to outside Catalonia after the October 1 independence referendum.’

The proposal was introduced by and passed with votes from the pro-independence parties Junts per Catalunya (Together For Catalonia), Esquerra Republicana (ERC), CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy), and the non-aligned coalition of Catalunya en Comú-Podem (Catalonia in Common-We Can), which favours self-determination.

Unionist parties Ciudadanos (Cs), Catalan Socialists (PSC), and People’s Party (PP) all voted against investigating the crown.

ALSO READ: Banners against Felipe VI appear in Barcelona

Madrid aims for the Constitutional Court to accept its appeal for consideration and immediately order a precautionary suspension of the committee.

Felipe VI upside down photo
A man holds a picture of Felipe VI upside down during a protest against the visit of the king in Barcelona, on 9 April 2018. (AFP / Pau Barrena)

According to the Spanish government, the Catalan parliament has ‘no powers’ to investigate activities of people related to the crown. The same argument was used by the unionist parties to reject the committee.

The move to look into the potential alleged criminal activity of the crown came some months after the Catalan parliament tabled a motion to abolish the Spanish monarchy entirely following the role of the king in the independence bid.

Some weeks later, Madrid took the anti-monarchy motion to court despite counsel by its most senior advisory body not to do so.

The very same day, 26 October 2018, Barcelona local council passed a similar motion condemning the Spanish monarchy and asking for its abolition.

In particular, the king was criticised in Catalonia for his speech two days after the independence referendum on 1 October 2017, which gave no mention to police violence on the day of the vote and made no call for dialogue.

In recent polls, the Spanish king received a low popularity score of 1.8/10 throughout Catalonia, while 60% of Catalans rated King Felipe VI with a score of 0.

The attempt to dissolve the Spanish monarchy last October cited wishes to abolish ‘an outdated and anti-democratic institution’.

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