“The story of the last six years in Spain is almost a thriller”, conversation with José Antonio Zarzalejos

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“The story of the last six years in Spain is almost a thriller”, “The King Emeritus has betrayed his son”, “(Juan Carlos I) will not return to Spain as long as the Public Prosecutor does not clarify his situation”, “I do I think Leonor is going to reign ”,“ Pedro Sánchez has supported the King at crucial moments ”. These were some of the messages from José Antonio Zarzalejos, jurist, journalist, former director of El Correo and ABC, political analyst and writer, in the dialogue he had with David Jiménez, also a journalist, former director of El Mundo, political analyst and writer, during a new edition of the PROA Observatory held today at the Deusto Business School headquarters in collaboration with Editorial Planeta.

The event, focused on Zarzalejos’ latest work, ‘Felipe VI, a king in adversity’, was presented by Lucía Casanueva, PROA’s managing partner together with Valvanuz Serna, who framed it in the consultancy’s objective of participating in the reflection for progress.

The deputy to the president of El Confidencial explained that the objective with which he wrote the book was “to reconstruct the lesser-known episodes of these six years” of the reign of Felipe VI, after perceiving an “editorial blackout” regarding him as of 2018.

A book, “long incubated, but prepared with some speed”, which, he detailed, revolves around four keys: an immersion in the history of the Spanish and European monarchies, another of a constitutional legal nature to examine the resolutions since the abdication of Juan Carlos I, did not have the approval of the King (“whom I have known since 1999”) and an approach to him through people who know him well, “the most difficult phase”.

Zarzalejos reviewed the most important milestones of the reign of Felipe VI and highlighted the difficulties he had to face after his father’s “betrayal” by giving him a Crown “with a regrettable reputation”, but he opined that the Monarchy is not in danger and that his daughter Leonor will reign, if “some convulsive element does not arise when the investigation on the King Emeritus concludes”. He argued it in the “comeback capacity” that the current monarch has, about which “the CIS has not asked since 2015”, but which personally has almost a “remarkable”, in which changing the form from the State to the Republic requires a process constituent and that “Leonor is a woman and we are in the century of women”, and has no “negative adherence.” To which he added the example of other European parliamentary monarchies that function perfectly. “And kings make sense in democracies to the extent that they are functional,” he added at another time. He also rejected the possibility of a referendum on the Monarchy, claiming that it has constitutional legitimacy and that without a constituent process there are no mechanisms to do so.

He agreed with David Jiménez that the greatest damage to the Monarchy has been caused by Juan Carlos I, a name practically avoided throughout the talk in favor of “King Emeritus”, but he disagreed with the “socialization of guilt” in protection journalistic, media and business of this. “The responsibility for private conduct corresponds to him and only him,” he energetically sentenced.

A situation that, in his opinion, has caused on many occasions an “almost inquisitorial scrutiny” of his son, who, according to the writer, is aware that his performance must follow “criteria of exemplary public and private matters”. because its function is “to be exemplary and a reference of civic values”.

Questioned about the role of the PSOE during the reign of Felipe VI, he disagreed with the widespread opinion that Pedro Sánchez is “comfortable keeping him irrelevant,” in the expression of David Jiménez. On the contrary, he said that the current Prime Minister, despite “some mistakes”, has had “a positive behavior with the King, but silently, he has supported the King at crucial moments.”

And he justified those silences of the governor in the fact of having to share the table of the Council of Ministers with an anti-monarchical and republican party like Podemos. In this sense, he rejected the “unjustified criticism” of the right to the chief executive for his ability to exacerbate the most anti-monarchical bases of socialism.

The two journalists also addressed the difficult role played by Queen Letizia, “the first commoner queen consort, with a previous marriage, brilliant professional and with very open ideas,” in the words of Zarzalejos, who praised the one who, despite not have a constitutional role, has adapted to his position and, in addition, “wants to contribute to the Crown.”

Regarding the communication policy of the Royal House, he considered that it needs a change and must be more proactive, with more substantial speeches in content, and said that the King “has a pending conversation with Spanish society.” A conversation that, according to the political analyst, cannot take place until the responsibilities of his father are clarified and society is so tense.

To conclude, he predicted that the return of the King Emeritus to Spain will not take place while “the Public Prosecutor’s Office does not clarify his situation”, because “he is subject to the discipline of the Royal Household and the Government.”

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