“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
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.
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.
Confirmation that the former monarch was in the United Arab Emirates did little to halt the headlines, and Juan Carlos was in the news again this month when his lawyers announced he had paid tax authorities nearly €680,000 following a voluntary declaration of previously undisclosed income.
“We believe that the minimum that people expect from Felipe VI’s speech is that he condemns the irregularities attributed to the [former] king … and that he demands a thorough and complete investigation,” he said. “To be silent and act as though nothing happened this year would be a sign of weakness for the monarchy.”
“We’re going to be paying close attention to the king’s Christmas message,” Gerardo Pisarello, a politician with the leftwing party Podemos, told reporters this week.