Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

Europe

Thousands join anti-monarchy march in Madrid

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-06-07

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Madrid on Saturday to demand a referendum to abolish Spain’s monarchy, just days after King Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of his son.

A wave of republicanism spread across the country only a few hours after the 76-year-old king announced his abdication on June 2.

On Saturday, dozens of left-wing political parties and citizens organisations came together to demand a referendum on the future of the monarchy.

If all goes to plan, King Juan Carlos’ heir, Crown Prince Felipe, is scheduled to be crowned on June 19. The coronation will be held in a joint session of parliament, whose members— both in the ruling party and in opposition— overwhelmingly support the monarchy.

But a spate of scandals over the past three years has caused a dramatic drop in the monarchy’s popularity. The economic crisis has also resulted in a general loss of faith in Spain’s institutions.

Those feelings were clearly demonstrated by the collapse in support for the two traditional parties during last month’s European elections.

Among the insurgent new left-wing parties was Podemos, a new party that emerged from the “Indignants” protest movement of 2011.

“We want to give a voice to the people. Why is it a problem to organise a referendum? Why is it a problem to give Spaniards the right to decide their future?” asked one of the party’s leaders, Pablo Iglesias.

“If the People’s Party and Socialist party think that Felipe has the confidence of the citizens, he should submit to a referendum,” Iglesias said.

Seeking ‘renewal’

In announcing his abdication, Juan Carlos said he hoped for a “renewal” of the monarchy.

Years of economic crisis “have awakened in us a desire for renewal, to overcome and correct mistakes and open the way to a decidedly better future,” the king said in a televised address.

“Today a younger generation deserves to step into the front line, with new energies,” he said.

Although Felipe has been spared the opprobrium that has engulfed his father, he faces a daunting task in rebuilding the legitimacy of the crown.

Most of Spain’s new republicans are young and were not around when Juan Carlos took the throne on November 22, 1975. It was two days after Franco's death and the young king oversaw a dramatic period of transition to democracy.

Lately, the reign of the Juan Carlos has been marked by more scandal than political change. A corruption scandal struck the royal family in 2011 at the height of an economic crisis, undermining their popularity. The following year King Juan Carlos sparked fresh outrage by hunting elephants in Botswana while ordinary Spaniards struggled through a recession.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

Date created : 2014-06-07

  • SPAIN

    Spanish Republicans call for referendum on monarchy after king’s abdication

    Read more

  • SPAIN

    Spain’s King Juan Carlos abdicates

    Read more

  • SPAIN

    Spanish princess testifies in royal corruption case

    Read more

COMMENT(S)