The resignation of Spain’s hereditary head of state Juan Carlos Bourboun seems not to have had the intended effect of strengthening that country’s monarchy. Instead it has inspired republicans to increase their efforts to free their country from the feudal institution.
Following the resignation “tens of thousands of Spaniards flooded into the centre of Madrid for one of the biggest republican rallies in recent memory” according to the monarchy-supporting Financial Times. Many wore the red, yellow and purple colours of the Spanish republic. A poll earlier this year suggested that fewer than half of Spanish people wanted to keep the monarchy.
Spanish republicans are also signing petitions in large numbers and using Twitter to campaign for a referendum.
The main political parties in Spain are opposed to a democratic head of state. This includes the socialist PSOE, although its youth and some other groups are republican.
The prime minister has dismissed republican demands. It has been left to the United Left and Podemos to support the right of the people to decide on the future of the Spanish monarchy.
Spain was a republic before the Franco dictatorship but he transferred power to Bourbon, reinstating monarchy. Support for monarchy has declined in recent years as scandals have affected the reputation of the Bourbon family.