Leftist Politicians Demand Referendum On Monarchy

Left-leaning politicians in the Spanish autonomous community of Navarra approved a resolution in favor of a referendum on the monarchy this week.

The vote happened the day before King Felipe and Queen Letizia were set to visit the National Center for Technology and Food Security.

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© Casa de S.M. el Rey

Politicians in Navarra, which has taken a leftward turn, also recently moved to de-royalize the Prince of Viana awards.

Beyond the title of Prince of Asturias, the heir to the Spanish throne is also the Prince of Princess of Viana. The current holder is Princess Leonor.

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Their Majesties meeting with the people of Navarra. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

The Spanish media did not give the referendum too much attention, mainly because of its symbolic nature.

Spain is still feeling the effects of the financial crisis and rising populism, which have hurt the monarchy.

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King Felipe and Queen Letizia commemorating Armed Forces Day last month. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Political corruption scandals and the conviction of Infanta Cristina’s husband for fraud have also taken a toll.

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King Felipe meeting with Indian President Narendra Modi at Zarzuela Palace. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

But it would be a mistake to say the monarchy is in peril, as many international news outlets like to say.

King Juan Carlos, who helped transition Spain to democracy and was once considered untouchable, had to abdicate amid several missteps.

But opinion polls show his son, King Felipe, gets much higher marks. Queen Letizia and Queen Sofia, Don Felipe’s mother, also do well with the public.

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King Juan Carlos following Real Madrid in Cardiff, Wales, this month.
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King Felipe celebrating FC Barcelona’s victory in the King’s Cup last month.

Polls are all over the place. El Español published a poll in 2016 finding less than 50 percent support for the monarchy but 53 percent support for King Felipe.

An El Mundo poll from 2015 has the monarchy at more than 60 percent. A Metroscopia poll the same year had the King’s approval at more than 80 percent.

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Queen Sofia greeting her daughter, Infanta Elena, ahead of the insurance company MAPFRE awards. © Casa de S.M. el Rey

Despite politicians, particularly on the left, bringing up issues like the monarchy, a Spanish Center for Sociological Investigations found most Spaniards are not concerned about it.

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