King Felipe presided over the 27th Ibero-American Summit, which took place in the Principality of Andorra this week.
This year’s theme focused on innovation toward sustainable development. The summit also tried to create a united front for fighting the pandemic.
Members of the Organization of Ibero-American States — of which King Felipe is the honorary head — regularly attend the conference. The group is generally made up of Spain, Portugal and their former colonies, among other participants.
This year’s summit was notable for its absences because of the pandemic. It was also a one day event, unlike previous years.
His Majesty held one-on-one meetings with several leaders attending the summit, including gatherings in Spain ahead of the Andorra meeting.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia made a state visit to Andorra — the first for a Spanish monarch — earlier this year. The country is a co-principality. One of its heads of state is the president of France. The other is the bishop of Urgell, which covers Andorra and parts of Spain.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia welcomed Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa during a visit to Madrid last week.
Don Felipe held a reception with the president and other members of the Portuguese delegation at the Madrid Royal Palace. The ceremonies were not at the level of a state visit, but Spain and Portugal are generous when welcoming each other’s leaders, even for brief stops.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia also welcomed de Sousa for a private dinner at their unofficial residence at Zarzuela Palace in Madrid’s outskirts.
Earlier this month King Felipe had a work meeting with Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid at Zarzuela Palace.
King Felipe also met in recent days with Ibero-American Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan.
King Felipe last week marked the 40th anniversary of the failed coup that almost derailed Spain’s nascent Democracy in 1981.
His Majesty presided over a small ceremony at the Congress of Deputies with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and other top officials.
King Felipe recalled his father, King Juan Carlos, being instrumental in putting down the coup. He called military leaders and, after delays, was able to make a televised address to call for respecting the new constitution.
The coup involved a Civil Guard officer, Antono Tejero, storming the Congress with a small crew and holding lawmakers hostage. Plotters also took over state television and were poised to begin taking over the country.
King Felipe was a child when the events happened. King Juan Carlos made sure he was present during some of the toughest moments so the then-heir would learn from the developments.
Last week’s arrest of Spanish rapper Pablo Hasel has unleashed days of violent protests in Barcelona and other areas, particularly in Catalonia.
Catalan police arrested Hasel at the University of Lleida, where he was holed up with his supporters. Hasel had until February 12 to turn himself in after the Spanish Supreme Court upheld a 2018 conviction against the rapper of supporting terrorism and injuries against the Crown.
Spain’s penal code includes provisions to punish people who insult the the King or his family. The law is not meant to silence criticism of the Crown and prosecutions are rare.