Anti-monarchists in Spain are calling for loud protests to drown out the king’s annual Christmas speech, urging people to turn off their televisions, bang on pots and pans or play Republican music, while the Spanish royal family tries to turn the page on one of its years most tumultuous in recent history.
“There will be all kinds of protests from various collectives,” said José Manuel García, of the Republican group Encuentro Estatal por la República, to the news website Diario Público.
His group asked the Spaniards to turn off the TV the moment the king starts his speech on Christmas Eve, while others call social media they asked for noise to drown out the monarch.
The hope is to repeat the success of a similar protest in March, when the king’s speech to the nation during the blockade was met with a cacophony of noise.
King Felipe, who came to power in 2014, tried several times to distance himself this year from a constant trickle of damaging allegations involving his father, Juan Carlos.
In March, Felipe announced that he would renounce his father’s personal inheritance, after claiming that he would receive millions of euros from a secret offshore fund with links to Saudi Arabia.
Months later, Spain’s supreme court announced an investigation into the role of Juan Carlos in an agreement in which a Spanish consortium closed a € 6.7 billion (£ 6 billion) contract to build a high-speed rail line between the cities Saudis from Medina and Mecca.
The scandal worsened in August, when Juan Carlos said he would leave Spain because of the “public repercussions that certain events in my private life are causing”.
Confirmation that the ex-monarch was in the United Arab Emirates did little to stop the headlines, and Juan Carlos made headlines this month when his lawyers announced that he paid the tax authorities about € 680,000 after a voluntary income statement earlier. not revealed.
Although Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, argues that what is being judged is the person and not the institution, the myriad allegations surrounding Juan Carlos are likely to arise when King Felipe addresses the nation.
“We will be paying close attention to the king’s Christmas message,” Gerardo Pisarello, a politician from the left-wing party Vamos, told reporters this week.
“We believe that the least people expect from Felipe VI’s speech is that he condemns the irregularities attributed to the [former] king… and that it requires a thorough and thorough investigation, ”he said. “To be silent and act as if nothing had happened this year would be a sign of weakness for the monarchy.”