40 years since the military coup in Spain: a shooting in parliament

At 18:23 on February 23, 1981, two units of gendarmes stormed the Spanish parliament building and took all the deputies present hostage. They forced them to lie down, supporting their words with several volleys in the air. However, the military coup failed, but on the contrary, it helped to consolidate the young Spanish democracy.

After the death of General Frank, Spain embarked on a slow path to democratization under the patronage of the new King Juan Carlos. In 1977, the first democratically elected prime minister and in 1978 a new democratic constitution. At the same time, however, it has faced many terrorist attacks and a serious economic crisis. Unemployment was 20 percent, inflation just a little less.

Even society was not united on the future shape of the country. When Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez also legitimized the Communist Party, a coup seemed inevitable. However, as a political matador, Suárez eventually settled. The coup did not take place until February 23, 1981. The new prime minister had just voted in parliament.

In addition to the deputies, the gendarmes in the parliament also captured the current members of the government. Their commander, Antonio Tejero, stood behind the lectern with a pistol in his hand. The statement said a military authority would appear in parliament to announce the way forward. At the same time, other units occupied Spanish television broadcasts, and eventually the commander of the Valencian military district declared a state of emergency in his territory and tanks began to cross the streets of Valencia. All the rebels protected themselves by the will of the king and the command of the army. At the crucial moment, however, they were left alone.

When the king, assuring himself of the loyalty of the army, he appeared after midnight on the already liberated television with a speech condemning the coup. Parliament was surrounded and the next day the rebels surrendered. Although Commander Tejero was sentenced to 30 years in prison, the actual plan or his planners remained secret. And it was the young King Juan Carlos, still considered Frank’s puppet, who became the guarantor of young Spanish democracy.

No guarantees.  Spain can determine who is allowed to go to Gibraltar

Source: E15.cz by www.e15.cz.

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