Spaniards demand referendum on monarchy

And by “referendum”, they mean the right to decide NOT to have another hereditary twit imposed by a dictator as head of state:

Willy Meyer, recently elected head of the list of the Spanish IU party in the European parliamentary elections, has demanded a referendum so that Spaniards can choose between the current model of parliamentary monarchy, or a republic. This in the context of the surprising abdication of King Juan Carlos.

Meyer spoke to EFE as soon as he had heard of the decision of King Juan Carlos to abdicate in favor of his son, Prince Felipe, announced by the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy.

“21st century democracy demands that a referendum be called for all the people to decide if they want a republic or a monarchy,” Meyer emphasized.

According to the IU representative, the recent European elections have created a “crisis” and “shipwreck” for bipartisanism, of the two parties — PP and PSOE — which, in his opinion, support the monarchy, for which reason there is more sense than ever in calling for a referendum.

Pablo Iglesias, leader of the citizen movement Podemos (“We Can”), which won five Euro-deputies at the polls, joined in the call for a popular consultation as well: “We Spaniards have the right to decide our future; that’s why we want to vote.”

In declarations to Las Mañanas Cuatro from Brussels, where he was picking up his Europarliament credentials, Iglesias also called upon the socialists to join the popular republican demand: “The [socialist] PSOE has an opportunity to demonstrate that they are not just like the [fascist] PP.” But, he added, “the elites are afraid of what the vote might bring.”

“This is a problem between the oligarchy and democracy. Spaniards have to have the ability to decide,” insisted Pablo Iglesias. “We Spaniards are adults, and yet they talk down to us as if we were children.”

Podemos released a communiqué to their circles and to voters upon the abdication of the king, stating: “In a democracy, the people decide. We are not subjects, but citizens.” It emphasizes that “there are no excuses for citizens not to be able to decide the form of State in which they want to live.”

The EQUO political party, for its part, defends the position that following the abdication of the king, it is time to give a voice to the people so that they decide the model of state. In the party’s opinion, this abdication must not be settled with a simple succession, but a democratic exit, beginning with a constitutional process in which a referendum is included to allow a choice between monarchy and republic.

EQUO co-spokesperson Juan López de Uralde says that “it would be a grave error to go on acting as if nothing had happened. The abdication of the king removes the foundations from a model that no longer represents us. It cannot be understood as a 21st-century democracy if the head of state continues to depend on hereditary factors and not on the will of the citizenry. It is urgent to make profound changes.”

López’s co-spokesperson, Carolina López, affirms that EQUO defends a “citizen republic, secular and which upholds the rights that have been trampled during the last years.”

Meanwhile, in Catalonia, the ERC (winning party in the recent European elections), ICV-EUiA, CUP and the Procès Constituent have joined the call for a referendum to reinstate the Republic, and called for demonstrations in all the most important cities and towns.

ICV spokeswoman Dolors Camats said that the abdication of the king could not be resolved with the accession of Prince Felipe, but with a referendum: “It’s not worthwhile for us to trade one king for another.” In a press conference with Joan Josep Nuet (of the EUiA), she stated that “in the same way as the Catalans demand a referendum to decide their future, it is necessary that the citizenry be consulted about the state they want,” and has advocated for interpreting the abdication as an opportunity to change the current model, according to Europa Press.

Camats also called on the Catalans to hang Republican banners and Senyeras on their balconies, as well as to participate in demonstrations called for 8 p.m. on Monday night, in many public squares throughout Catalonia.

Meanwhile, the Procès Constituent, founded by Arcadi Oliveres and Teresa Forcades, released a communiqué titled “Neither Juan Carlos nor Felipe! A Catalan Republic for the 99%! Democratic Constitutional Process NOW!” It states that “all the principal institutions of the state are in question: the Crown, the judicial power, and the bipartisan system. The recent elections of May 25 have demonstrated the profound citizen disaffection toward the current political system.”

BNG spokesman Xavier Vence called for the opening of a “constitutional process” following the abdication, and supports a republican model to “do away with the legacy of Franco”.

Vence said that the king “was named by Franco as his successor”, and considers that the decision to abdicate is only a “cosmetic change” in the face of the “crisis” of the institution.

“The current social crisis requires a broader and deeper change than a washing of the face,” Vence explained, maintaining that the citizenry “demands a real democratic transition.”

Translation mine.

Meanwhile, a deafening silence from Washington about the need for a democratic transition in Spain. I guess it would be different if Spain had oil, eh?

PS: Here’s some more video from last night’s demonstrations. Note the huge crowds and the republican tricolor flags:

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