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Spanish defence minister Margarita Robles lashed out on Tuesday at those trying to "involve" the country's king in partisan controversies and criticized the letter that more than 70 retired military professionals sent to the head of state, declaring their opposition to the Spanish government and warning of alleged dangers which Spain faces. Robles was speaking in the budget debate in the Spanish Congress to respond to the letter that 72 retired soldiers sent to king Felipe VI last week, according to the newspaper El País.

The minister affirmed her "pride" in the 120,000 men and women who are part of Spain's armed forces and fulfill their task "by serving the constitution from the strictest political neutrality."

She also conveyed her respect for members of the military who, although retired, continue to defend the values ​​of political neutrality and service to citizens, as well as those ex-armed forces personnel who hold seats in Congress as members of different parties and have chosen to "defend the interests of the citizens".

However, she stressed that "under no circumstances" could she recognize those who write letters "taking refuge in a military career in which they no longer serve" to try "to get the king involved" which would be a "violation of political neutrality."

"The Spanish head of state is everyone's, and is not the property of those who via certain letters and messages involving the king are not doing what they should do as public servants or defending the values ​​that characterize the military and its community," she warned.

Robles thus reiterated her criticism of former army personnel who "wrap" themselves in their military uniform which they "do not have the right to wear to involve the king." "The monarchy is the heritage of all Spanish citizens," she declared.