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The opinion survey published this Sunday by El Nacional on Felipe VI, Juan Carlos I, a hypothetical abdication of the Spanish head of state, the need to put the king emeritus on trial and a referendum on "monarchy or republic" delivers so many negative results for the royal family that the least that can be said is that the rupture from the institution that occurred in Catalan society in October 2017 has not only failed to diminish but has widened to make even a minimal re-encounter completely impossible. The rating of 2.73 which Catalans give to Felipe VI is so transversal that only voters in the conservative, numerically-small Partido Popular give the king a pass mark, something that the pro-independence parties obviously don't do, but neither do Ciudadanos, the Catalan Socialists or the Comuns.

Equally negative figures are produced on the question of whether the corruption cases which have emerged should lead to the abdication of Felipe VI (56% are in favour of this and 35.6% against, with the Socialist position standing out because the party is divided into two equal halves), the belief of 85% of Catalans that Juan Carlos I has committed a crime, and thirdly, on the preference for a republic in a hypothetical referendum expressed by 69%, with, again, PP voters being the only ones to support the monarchy on balance.

All indications are that the Spanish monarchy has entered a vicious circle of discredit which has been amplified by the corruption cases, but whose origins lie in the radical position taken by Felipe VI in his televised address of October 3rd, 2017. The continuous revelations of corruption cases involving the king emeritus, from which Felipe VI has been unable to distance himself via any sort of firewall that might prevent him from getting burned, mean that for the first time the debate on the direction of the Spanish state and a decision on "monarchy or republic" has stopped being a mirage and is now plausible in the immediate future.

Only an agreed solution on the political conflict in Catalonia could rectify this situation which has very significant effects on the primary institution of the state. The tour carried out by the monarchs around a Spain in crisis, in the style of those of Francoist minister Manuel Fraga after hydrogen bombs fell onto Almeria in the Palomares incident of 1966, has provided images for television news and the printed dailies, but little else. It takes more than that to relaunch an institution in the 21st century.

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