On Friday last week, Catalonia’s regional parliament in Barcelona passed a motion condemning the monarchy in the wake of Spain’s former king Juan Carlos going in exile. The bill will have no practical significance and is to be regarded mostly as a political move in the struggle for Catalan independence.
The passing of the bill takes place at the same time as polling’s show that support for the Spanish monarchy is strengthened.
Three of Catalonia’s separatist parties, which hold a majority of seats in the parliament, voted in favour of the motion which criticized the decision of Juan Carlos to go into exile. The proposal “Catalonia is a republic and does not want a king” was passed by 69 votes in favour and 65 against. The separatists in Catalonia do not recognize King Felipe VI as king of the region. Catalan leader Quim Torra said in the speech he held at the regional parliament before the vote on the bill: “Neither Spaniards nor Catalans deserve such a loud and ridiculous scandal on an international scale. We Catalans do not have a king and we do not want one.”
Former King Juan Carlos announced he was going into exile on August 3rd 2020. The newspaper, ABC, reported on August 7th that Juan Carlos was in Abu Dhabi, staying at a luxury hotel. Another paper, El Mundo, had originally placed him in the Dominican Republic while a third, La Vanguardia, ended the week by asking if his final destination, for now, might well be New Zealand.
Juan Carlos ruled Spain from November 1975 until June 2014 when he abdicated in favour of his only son, Felipe VI. He was named as heir to the Spanish throne by Franco who believed he would continue his dictatorship. Instead, Juan Carlos supported the swift movement of Spain to democracy.