The independence movement en masse turned its back on Spanish king Felipe VI this Monday. From Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia, all five of the pro-independence parties represented in Spain's Congress of Deputies were absent from the ceremonial opening of the new legislature, presided over by Felipe VI with all the pomp and protocol of the monarchy. But before that, representatives of the three Catalan pro-independence parties - Gabriel Rufián (ERC), Laura Borràs (JxCat) and Mireia Vehí (CUP) - along with deputies Oskar Matute (of Basque party EH Bildu) and Nestor Rego (of Galicia's BNG), read a joint manifesto. "The monarchy and the king do not represent us," they stated. Almost 50 parliamentarians were missing: 29 MPs from Congress, the lower house, and 20 senators. Pedro Sánchez's government depends on those parliamentarians in this new political cycle. Left wing Unidas Podemos, on the other hand, has always attended this ceremonial opening, and this time it has done so from the Spanish government benches. The text was read in four languages: Spanish, Catalan, Basque and Galician.
In the manifesto, entitled "We have no king: democracy, freedom, republics", the five signatory parties state that the Spanish monarchy and king "do not represent them", a view which, according to opinion polls, is shared by majorities in the Catalan, Basque and Galician societies, which "reject the figure of an anachronistic institution inherited from the Franco regime that is based on the objective of maintaining and imposing the unity of Spain and its laws". In this way, asserts the text, "it denies the civil, political and national rights" of the different peoples of the Spanish state.
"In the democratic path to the freedom we aspire to, the king is not a valid interlocutor for us," continues the pro-independence manifesto, which affirms that Felipe VI, "does not have the legitimacy of our peoples, nor do we recognize him as having any political function." In that regard, they recall the "authoritarian speech" of October 3rd, 2017, which showed that "his role was none other than attempting to impose anti-democratic projects and values".
Finally, ERC, JxCat, the CUP, Bildu and the BNG state that the monarchy does not respond to the "republican values of freedom, equality and democracy" and that a rupture is needed with a system based on "inheritance" and the "values represented by the king and his figure. " In the face of this, they assert: "We consider that the king and the monarchy must cease to exercise their authority over the people and over governments and parliaments." Only in this way, they conclude can there be "solutions based on respect for the popular will, freedom and democracy."
At the last such ceremony, in 2016, neither ERC nor EH Bildu attended, but on that occasion the members of Catalonia's PDeCAT, predecessor of JxCat, were present. However, along with the other Basque nationalist party, the PNV, and United Podemos, they didn't applaud the monarch on his arrival at the Spanish chamber.