Wednesday, December 10, 2008


There are two cases of politicians and the Spanish monarch Juan Carlos I that have been taken up by the nation’s prosecutors.

Already involved in the trial process is the Izquierda Unida mayor of Puerto Real, José Antonio Barroso. Now the prosecutor of the Cataluña high court (TSJC) is investigating alleged remarks by the ERC MP Joan Tardá.

At an event in Los Barrios on April 14 to commemorate the proclamation of the II Republic the outspoken Barroso cast aspersions on the King and his father. He accused the monarch of being “corrupt” because of some of his business associations and said he was the “hijo de crápula”, accusing his father of being a libertine.

Last Saturday it is said that Tardá, whilst addressing the youth section of his party in Barcelona, called for “muerte al Borbón”.

Both remarks caused outrage but I believe they are markedly different.

Barroso insists that he spoke “under the umbrella of the constitutional right to free expression which all Spanish nationals are supposed to have” and that he was expressing his political convictions.

Quite so.

In contrast Tardá seemingly called for the death of the King.

Now he tries to explain that away by saying that “muerte al Borbón” was a phrase used in 1714 and is a Republican proclamation with a long tradition.

Sorry Joan that cuts no ice. They are weasel words spoken by a political rat!

To voice an opinion about the monarch or his family is one thing. I do not believe that the State should be involved in prosecuting Barroso for his genuinely held views. The King should either turn the other cheek or take legal action on his own account.

However to call for “death to the Borbón” at a time when our streets already run with too much blood is simply outrageous.

It would be legitimate to call for the King to go, for a Republic to be established – but death?

Today marks the 60 th anniversary of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It should be remembered that monarchs have human rights too – exactly the same ones as you and I enjoy. A monarch should be as open to criticism as any other national leader – kings and queens are not a protected species. However in a democracy to call for their death is beyond the pail.

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