Every year, on December 6, Spain celebrates Constitution Day. It was in 1978 when Spaniards voted in favor in a referendum to ratify the Magna Carta that is still in force today. Since 1983, December 6 is a national holiday and both the General State Administration and the Armed Forces celebrate commemorative events.
But on this occasion the commemoration of the Constitution was marred by the political situation in which the Government of Pedro Sánchez has Spain immersed. The controversial “Only Yes is Yes” law, the reform of the crime of sedition, the appointment of political candidates to the Constitutional Court and the possibility of reforming the crime of embezzlement are some of the outrages that prevent the celebration of December 6 from being seen as a real act of State.
Sánchez and the socialist ministers have been repeating for months, day after day, that the opposition led by the Popular Party is outside the Constitution. It is the only way he has found to justify, among other decisions, the approval of the General State Budgets for the 2023 course.
The image of truth
The Government of Sánchez is going to find it difficult to justify the absence of its main parliamentary partners in the commemoration of the Constitution Day. The PP, the main opposition party, was present at the December 6 celebration despite the PSOE’s accusations of being outside the constitutional order.
In contrast, it was Sánchez’s main partners who were absent. Neither Esquerra Republicana (ERC), nor the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), nor Bildu, nor Junts, nor PDeCat, nor Compromís nor the Bloque Nacionalista Gallego (BNG) were present on December 6 at the gates of the Congress of Deputies. Logically, this absence is interpreted as their null respect for the Spanish Constitution. And yet, because they are the partners on which Pedro Sánchez relies, there was no statement from them, nor from any of the ministers who usually charge against the PP, about their position outside the Constitution.
The PSOE and its null respect for the Constitution
The celebration of December 6 was full of pretensions of moderation and coexistence, two qualities that are scarce in the Spanish political panorama. The PSOE takes advantage of these events to declare itself as the only party guarantor of the Magna Carta, but the reality is quite different.
Throughout this legislature, the Government of Sanchez has exceeded the limits of the Constitution on more than one occasion. The first one, which affected all Spanish citizens, was the declaration of numerous states of alarm that, months later, the Constitutional Court catalogued as unconstitutional. That is to say, outside the Constitution.
Not content with this, the Government decided to pardon those who, in 2017, declared a coup d’état to the whole of Spain and, therefore, to its Constitution. While the Constitutional Court declared that the Government had decreed confined the population unconstitutionally, Sanchez approved the pardon to the pro-independence prisoners responsible for declaring the independence of Catalonia.
In these weeks he does the same with the reform of the crime of sedition and, soon, with that of embezzlement.
The newspaper archives, and the history books, if they allow it, will show that, while accusing other parties of being outside the Constitution, the PSOE and its partners have been the only ones to question the constitutional stability in this legislature that still promises surprises.
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