And it didn't happen either in the Pascua Militar, the celebration held annually on January 6th which allows the Spanish head of state, dressed in his captain general's uniform, to address the armed forces. Despite the fact that, from the perspective of safeguarding democracy, there were certainly issues on which to take a stand! The first and most controversial one, the Whatsapp chat among military reserve leaders that emerged recently, in which some members floated the idea of a coup, still requires an unmitigated disauthorization from king Felipe VI since many of the military figures listed are also signatories to a manifesto speaking of a coup against the current Spanish government.
He had a chance to express his opinion but was silent, finding refuge in the pandemic and the constitution with phrases that both the right and left of the Spanish media were able to read as they wished: some to wrap themselves up in it and others to rub the noses of Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias in it. Nor did he talk about his father Juan Carlos I, absent since he fled to the United Arab Emirates on August 4th, who continues to hold his military rank - doesn't the Spanish government have anything to say? - and who for decades presided over this very event held in the royal palace, elbow to elbow with the military leaders of the day.
Wrapped in political cotton wool and protected by the print press and the Spanish TV networks which have chosen to create a security cordon around Felipe in exchange for having a degree of carte blanche with regard to his father, the Spanish monarchy hemorrhages, even while it makes huge efforts to publish hallucinatory polls, lacking all believability, on its own public support. It is impossible to regain even a little credibility if he takes no time to address such a socially-damaging issue as the corruption of his father and of other family members.
It's true that the economic crisis is acting as a catalyst for the general discontent in society, but there comes a time when staying silent or looking the other way is no longer valid as a response even at the highest level, institutionally speaking. Unequivocal responses are needed that take on board responsibility, for the public prosecutors' actions to be real and not a mere PR gesture, for the Spanish tax agency to carry out the functions of inspection and sanction that are its competencies and for the pro-monarchy parties to accept a parliamentary commission of inquiry. As long as these steps are not taken the Spanish monarchy will continue under suspicion.