The press of the Spanish establishment and most of the radio and television networks couldn't do anything to avoid it: king Felipe VI received a response of implacable rejection to his Wednesday night speech in many parts of the Spanish state, beginning with the Basque Country and Catalonia, where seven out of ten people disapproved of the address. The second key indicator is that he is now clearly the monarch of the Spanish right, because in addition to the pro-independence bloc, which has opposed him heavily ever since his speech of 3rd October 2017, voters of the left-wing Unidas Podemos and even the Socialists (PSOE) clearly joined in with the rejection of the message.
His wearisome television talk - watched by 14.6 million viewers, 7.1 million more than at Christmas - in the midst of a crisis in the Spanish monarchy, after it was revealed that part of the fortune of his father, Juan Carles I, originated in commissions from Arab sheikhs deposited in offshore accounts in Switzerland, has only amplified the society's distancing at a time of this severe crisis in public health and the economy.
The most striking thing about the first survey published on the speech, conducted by Electomania, is that the Spanish population's negative perception of Felipe VI's address has extended very widely. Only 50.9% give it a pass mark, thanks to the two Castiles, Extremadura, Madrid and Andalusia. With an opposing view are, in order of rising rejection, the Balearic Islands (54%), Valencian Community (54%), Navarra (54%), Catalonia (72%) and the Basque Country (74%).
If the divide is clear territorially, it is not any less so ideologically, because it was only approved by the right and the far right, whose voters in PP, Cs and Vox support it at a level in excess of 80%, while the PSOE goes well in the other direction (66.5% rejection) and Unidas Podemos much more still (93% say no). An entire legislature with a government whose voters are of this view would not seem to be a very reassuring prospect for the Spanish monarchy, which still owes society a clear and forceful response on the corruption which, as the saying goes, has first names and family names. At the moment, the apparent anger against the father does not seem enough to save the son's monarchy.