he god of rain wept disconsolately over Madrid. Puerta del Sol. Midday. Conference Hall of the Community of Madrid. Full capacity. 200 people. Presentation of the book “The Catalans DO have a King”.
Sergio Fidalgo and Antonio Robles have written and compiled the contributions of a hundred Catalans – the vast majority of whom are republicans – to thank Felipe VI for the contribution of the parliamentary monarchy to guaranteeing freedoms and the rule of law, and especially for his transcendental televised contribution on 3-10-2017 when the separatists were threatening to break up Spain. It was the King’s most transcendental speech.
The book, sponsored by elCatalan.es and published by the publisher Hildy has 369 pages, a price of 18.98 euros in paper format and its main distribution will be through Amazon.
In the first part, Professor Félix Ovejero explains the political, ethical and sociological foundations of parliamentary monarchy to reach the conclusion that “there is no conceptual incompatibility between the terms republic and monarchy. Nor is there any incompatibility between the two with democracy’. What is essential is the defence of citizens’ freedoms and rights.
Professors José Varela and Carlos Dardé analyse the historical aspect to endorse that the king is the guarantor of liberties and harmony.
Teresa Freixes, a jurist, examines the role of the king in the Constitution of 1978. He sanctions laws, consults with the candidates for the Presidency of the Government and represents us abroad. But the most important thing is “to be the guarantor of the unity and sovereignty of the nation”.
Interviews and commentaries
In the second part, almost 100 pages are devoted to ten important Catalan citizens, from Albert Boadella to Miguel Jiménez, including Marita Rodríguez and Chantal Moll, who talk about the role of the King of Spain in Catalonia, as head of state. The political colour of the interviewees does not matter. The common denominator of their messages is simple: “Since the restoration of democracy and the Transition, the monarchy has been the institution that best defends public freedoms”.
Ninety free people from all over Catalonia express their opinions freely. We have collected the testimony of journalist Regina Farré, from a Republican family and exiled in Andalusia: “If birds like Rahola, Puigdemont or Rufián are the quintessence of the Republic, that is the only reason why I side with our king. Felipe VI is my king”.
Closing the list is former Ciudadanos leader Juan Carlos Girauta. This outspoken lawyer entitles his article “Sánchez against the law and the king”. Girauta considers that “the law is a nuisance for the narcissistic president and his anti-monarchist government. Hence the effectiveness of the king’s presence in preserving coexistence and the nation”.
In short: the problem is not monarchy or republic, say the Catalans who have collaborated in this work, but whether you live in a regime of liberties or in a dictatorship. Exceptionally, I end the chapter with the testimony of Inés Arrimadas: “We owe a lot to the king”.
The book closes with two historic speeches: the king’s participation in the Davos Forum defending constitutional values and his message to the nation on 3-O 2017. When the sky was falling, Felipe VI left these words of hope in the night: “Catalans, you are not alone”. He then reiterated the Crown’s commitment to the Constitution and democracy. And five days later, on 8-O, a million Spaniards flocked to the city of Barcelona. You are not alone, we shouted at the demonstration. I was there. And I returned on the 21st after Puigdemont’s cowardly coup.
Remember. Midday. Presidency of the Community. 13 December. Desired rain after the persistent drought. Kilometre 0 flooded. Esperanza Aguirre in the front row. Always on the side of freedom.
Presenter Sergio Fidalgo summed up the philosophy of the book in a few minutes: to thank the monarch for his speech on the darkest night of 2017 and to show his affection for him: “It is the same affection we have for Spain, because his majesty represents what we are, a democratic country, united and open to the world”.
Then, Fidalgo could not avoid the harsh reality: he spoke of the coup d’état, the pardons, the suppression of the crime of sedition and the reduction of sentences for embezzlement, imposed on Sánchez by the criminals.
He passed the baton to José Varela. The eminent historian drew on his own text written for the book and recalled that “it is all of us Spaniards who decide because we are the owners – each and every one of us – of national sovereignty”. And he stressed: “There are many Catalans who have found a king”. He denounced the caciquism of the laws passed by the Sánchez government, defended the role of Felipe VI and said that “the separatists are aiming for a totalitarian republic”.
Francesc de Carreras -recognised jurist and polemic columnist- did not give importance to the words republic or monarchy if constitutional rights and liberties are defended. He did not reveal whether he is more republican than monarchist after the outrage of the rebels.
But as far as the argument is concerned, let’s just say that in the book that has brought us to the heart of the capital of the Kingdom, Professor de Carrera has made his point: “Felipe VI’s message on 3 October 2017 was that of a king defending Spain against a coup d’état more dangerous than that of 23-F”.
ABC journalist Cristina Casabán demanded the return home of the king emeritus. The exile considers it an attack on the Crown. She took the opportunity to recall that “the left is dividing Spaniards and that, as they have announced, they will end up staging a coup d’état”.
Wearing a mask
The former Socialist minister, José Luis Corcuera, received the best ovations despite an unequal fight against the flu. He offered a historical lesson against the Second Republic. And he recalled the ERC’s coup presidents (Maciá and Companys). His disloyalty is the same as today. It was clear that he does not like Sánchez’s fanaticism. “He says he will go down in history for digging up a dead man; no, he will be remembered as Ferdinand VII”. A felon, I add. When the presenter asked him to finish, having exceeded the ten-minute time limit, he reacted in a folksy way: “Don’t give me the time for coughing, Mr Fidalgo”. (Merger of laughter and applause).
Retired military officer Ángel Mazo (Vic, 1952), a pilot in the service of the Crown, made a diplomatic speech – he has been Spain’s military representative in NATO – and warned that “we lack education” and that is why we do not know what happened in 1714 and 1931. He described the parliamentary monarchy as democratic. ”It is true that the Catalans have a king, the most prepared monarch in our history. And now the criminals want to impose their narrative”.
Antonio Robles, co-author of this book, closed the political-cultural event almost 100 minutes after the start of the presentation. He reiterated that it was a tribute to the monarch himself. A Republican at heart, this Zamoran Viriato from Fermoselle feels at ease with Felipe VI.
This act of constitutional faith ended with the whole audience on their feet. Sergio shouted the usual slogans: Long live the King! and Long live Spain! And the audience responded, all in unison: Viva! and Viva!
The book is a courageous and determined response to the coup d’état in Catalonia, now directed from La Moncloa. The resistance to totalitarian nationalism continues.
Spaniards DO have a king. Felipe VI, the king of all. The downpours flooded half the capital against the dawn. Thirst is over until spring. It had to rain cats and dogs!
© Atalayar / Antonio REGALADO edits BAHÍA DE ÍTACA at: aregaladorodriguez.blogspot.com