For this Friday, the speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Roger Torrent, has convened the house as requested by president Quim Torra when the evidence emerged on the flight of Juan Carlos I with the complicity of the Spanish government, presumably to the Dominican Republic. With this decision, Parliament takes the initiative in what should have been a general outcry from the Spanish institutions once it became known that the emeritus king had fled to a foreign country, thus trying to avoid any legal repercussions for the cases of corruption that have become known in recent months. Matters which not only endanger the man who was head of the Spanish state between 1975 and 2014, but also his son, Felipe VI, enthroned in 2014.
It is known that the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Attorney General and the Spanish government will make it impossible for any decision of the Catalan legislative chamber to have major consequences. It has happened on other occasions and will continue to happen: the Spanish monarchy cannot be questioned. However, this is something that should be accepted at the outset. The dignity of an institution is not measured by the number of legal cases it has open with a justice system like the Spanish one but by the permanent condemnation of corruption and tax evasion in any of its guises, the defence of the rule of law, democracy and the common good and the relentless fight against any kind of law violation that protects the interests of the state ahead of international conventions.
One only needs to take a look at the international press to see the huge chasm that has opened with respect to Spain's own print press of reference. Here, all efforts are focused on trying to create a firebreak between the king emeritus and the current monarch. With regard to the emeritus, in an exercise in pragmatism, his fall has been gradually accepted as if it were a minor evil given the impossibility of keeping him minimally afloat. Meanwhile, Felipe VI is cast as a monarch who is free of accusations, able to break with his father and ignorant of all the tricks despite also sharing the same Zarzuela palace as his base of operations.
Someone, however, has forgotten that once you open the can of worms of accepting a case of corruption in the royal family by the departure of Juan Carlos I, nothing will be the same again. The debate on the monarchy will be permanent from now on, citizen protests will grow, the Spanish government will not be able to sustain the confluence of two parties - PSOE and Podemos - which need to present such differing discourses to their respective electorates and, above all, the international discredit of someone who was head of state until very recently fleeing with his immense booty just as the country sinks into its worst economic crisis in many decades. The clock is already ticking.