An extraordinary meeting of the Barcelona city council this Thursday, called especially to discuss the Spanish monarchy, has passed the resolution presented by the pro-independence groups ERC and JxCat to withdraw the council's Gold Medal and other honorific titles and personal recognitions awarded by the city of Barcelona to the former king Juan Carlos I who fled Spain in early August.
The proposition was passed with the 15 votes of ERC and JxCat, defeating the 14 votes of the three unionist parties the Socialists (PSC), Ciudadanos (Cs) and the Popular Party (PP), while the 10 representatives of mayor Ada Colau's Barcelona en Comú all abstained. The two councillors of Barcelona pel Canvi, Manuel Valls's group which broke off from Cs, did not attend the meeting.
The proposal, the only item on the meeting agenda, sought to begin procedures to withdraw the honorific Gold Medal awarded by the city to the king emeritus Juan Carlos I, to rebuke the Spanish government for providing the "collaboration necessary for [the former king's] departure", and to demand an explanation from Pedro Sánchez's executive. Among a series of other points the proposal also demanded was the repeal from the Spanish penal code of the crimes of insult and slander to the crown.
Barcelona mayor Ada Colau stated that although her party, Barcelona en Comú, considers the debate important, it decided to abstain in the vote because the parties proposing the motion refused to withdraw a sentence voicing disapproval of the Spanish government. She accused ERC and JxCat of having the real intention of wanting to "bring down" the Pedro Sánchez executive. Meanwhile, Cs, PP and PSC objected on the grounds that other debates are more important than this one at present. ERC and JxCat were especially critical of the votes of PSC and BComú, both of whom have used republican rhetoric freely on other occasions.
"Return monarchy's illegally-obtained money"
The text approved includes the following agreements:
1. Initiate the procedures to withdraw the city's gold medal, and all other honorific titles and personal recognitions, from Spanish king emeritus Juan Carlos I.
2. Recognize that the Spanish monarchy is the successor of the Franco regime, according to the Law of Succession approved by the Franco state leadership in July 1946.
3. Rebuke the government of the Spanish state for providing the collaboration necessary for the departure [from Spain] of the king emeritus, as prime minister Pedro Sánchez has admitted, in an operation aimed at protecting him from Swiss justice.
4. Demand from PM Sánchez and deputy PM Calvo give the necessary explanation to clarify the role of the Spanish government in this operation of shielding the monarchy and that they detail the king emeritus's current situation.
5. Urge the Spanish state government and the Congress of Deputies to implement the necessary reforms to be able to:
- Investigate the corruption of the monarchy, which must include attributing responsibilities to the institutions, companies and people who have benefited from or have played an active part in this.
- Withdraw the privileges enjoyed by Juan Carlos I, as well as the immunity from prosecution except via the Supreme Court.
- Repeal the crimes of slander and insult to the crown, and annul the cases and sentences which have been given for these offences.
- Allow an audit of the accounts and activities of the members of the royal house.
- Return the money that the monarchy has obtained illegally.
6. Reaffirm Catalonia’s right to self-determination so that we Catalans may decide our political and institutional future; as well as solidarity with any initiative to exercise the democratic right of Spanish citizens to freely decide their model of state.
7. Be accountable to the institutions of the European Union for these agreements, and urge the European Commission to act in defence of the rule of law, demanding that the Spanish state duly and strictly apply the treaties governing the obligations of states in this area.