Spain’s ailing Socialists, scarred by their poor results in May’s European elections and the emergence of grassroots party Podemos (We Can) as an unexpected left-wing competitor, are now potentially alienating even more of their previous voters by not calling for a referendum on the country’s monarchy.
According to right-wing daily ABC, PSOE leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba isn't willing to tolerate any kind of opposition to the enthronement of Crown Prince Felipe, due to take place in the next two weeks.
The party is therefore turning a blind eye to its Republican roots by forcing its Members of Parliament to be called to the stand and say their vote out loud.
If they vote against the draft bill on Spain’s first royal democratic succession, approved in an emergency cabinet meeting last Tuesday, the party will fine them between €200 and €600, ABC has reported.
Three socialist MPs — Odón Elorza, Federico Buyolo and Guillem Cargía Gasulla — have already voiced their disapproval of the stance adopted by Rubalcaba, who announced he will stand down as party secretary after his party’s lacklustre showing at the European elections.
“We’re not going to break that consensus now,” Rubalcaba said when insisting PSOE had shelved their republican tradition in the country’s best interest.
The succession law is expected to receive around 90 percent support in Wednesday’s vote, with the governing conservative Popular Party holding a majority in the Spanish Parliament and only a handful of leftist and regional nationalist parties opposing the bill.
However, according to a survey by left-wing national El País, 62 percent of Spaniards believe a referendum should be held "at some point" to decide whether Spain should continue to have a monarchy.