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The Council of State is the highest advisory body for the Spanish government; its members include former ministers, senior professors and the heads of various other national bodies. It has now said it sees no basis to present an appeal of unconstitutionality against the Catalan Parliament bill censuring king Felipe VI and calling for the abolition of the monarchy, a setback for the Spanish government, which planned to do just that.

The council gave its report to the cabinet yesterday, although details were only revealed publicly today by La Vanguardia. The text says that, whilst the council firmly opposes the bill, the Parliament "isn't subject to limits which prevent it from expressing opinions contrary to the Constitution".

Despite the setback though, their opinion is merely advisory, and the Spanish government has decided to challenge the bill before the Constitutional Court regardless. The announcement was made by spokesperson Isabel Celaá in her press conference after today's cabinet meeting, held unusually in Seville.

"We are thankful for and respect their opinion, but we don't agree with their legal arguments", said Isabel Celaá, who argued there is a chance the bill is unconstitutional.  She said it "degrades the political form of the Spanish state and the democratic principles of the Constitution".

Celaá described it as an "unjustified lack of respect" towards the head of state. She sees it as a "new attempt to start a unilateral process to end up in the proclamation of a hypothetical republic" and said that "the abolition of the monarchy is inadmissible politically and legally".