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Spanish republicans aim to drown out king’s Christmas speech

“There will be all sorts of protests by various collectives,” José Manuel García, of the republican group Encuentro Estatal por la República, told the news site Diario Público.

Spanish republicans aim to drown out king’s Christmas speech

King Felipe

King Felipe’s broadcast address to the nation during the lockdown in March was met with a cacophony of noise. Photograph: Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images

King Felipe’s broadcast address to the nation during the lockdown in March was met with a cacophony of noise. Photograph: Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images

Anti-monarchists in Spain are calling for noisy protests to drown out the king’s annual Christmas speech, urging people to turn off their televisions, bang on pots and pans or blast republican tunes, as the Spanish royal family seeks to turn the page on one of its most tumultuous years in recent history.

The hope is to repeat the success of a similar protest in March when the king’s broadcast address to the nation during lockdown was met with a cacophony of noise.

His group has urged Spaniards to turn off their TV just as the king begins his speech on Christmas Eve, while others on social media have called for noise to muffle the monarch.

In March Felipe announced he would renounce his personal inheritance from his father after it was alleged he was poised to receive millions of euros from a secret offshore fund with ties to Saudi Arabia.

King Felipe, who came to power in 2014, has repeatedly tried to distance himself this year from a steady drip of damaging allegations involving his father, Juan Carlos.

The scandal deepened in August when Juan Carlos said he would leave Spain over the “public repercussions that certain past events in my private life are causing”.

Months later, Spain’s supreme court announced an investigation into Juan Carlos’s role in a deal in which a Spanish consortium landed a €6.7bn (£6bn) contract to build a high-speed rail line between the Saudi cities of Medina and Mecca.

While Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has argued that what is being judged is the person and not the institution, the myriad of allegations surrounding Juan Carlos are likely to loom as King Felipe addresses the nation.



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