Why does Spain still have a monarch?

Why Juan Carlos' "escape" could be the end of Spain's monarchy

Spain has a problem: the form of government that the country adopted in 1975 after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco is shaking. The flight of the former King Juan Carlos I (term of office 1975-2014) to relocate abroad could have far-reaching consequences. Because Spain is not mostly monarchist: Many Spaniards only accepted the monarchy because they had respect for Juan Carlos I.

They saw him as an effective head of state, as close to the people and decent. They were "juancarlistas", as it was called in Spain. But after numerous scandals and now even investigations in Switzerland and Spain for money laundering and tax evasion, the good image is over. Being "Juancarlista" is anything but easy.

If you are not a monarchist, you think about it. Especially since son Felipe VI. never reached the popularity that his father had. He is too stiff, too far from the people. Unlike his father, who is considered one of the architects of democratic Spain, one looks in vain for great achievements that could make someone a "felipista" if he is not a monarchist.

Opportunity not used

Felipe had exactly one chance and he wasted it. When he could have called for reconciliation and prudence after the independence referendum in Catalonia, he spoke to the hardliners and helped demonize the Catalans. He refrained from setting his own sustainable accents that the Spaniards would remember.

In addition, more and more Spaniards were born and raised in a democracy. The mantra that the system as it emerged after 1975 is the only possible and only stable one no longer works. The few polls that exist show that at least half of Spaniards are now in favor of electing the head of state themselves. The clear advantage would be that if he is corrupt, he can be elected from office and brought to justice. The Spaniards would then not have to wait until he is so kind and leaves. (Reiner Wandler, August 4th, 2020)