Radicals could face charges for burning pics of King

14th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 September 2007, MADRID - (AFP) - A group of radical Catalan nationalists who burned pictures of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia could be charged with slander against the crown, prosecutors at the National Court said Friday.

14 September 2007

MADRID - (AFP) - A group of radical Catalan nationalists who burned pictures of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia could be charged with slander against the crown, prosecutors at the National Court said Friday.

About 400 people championing the independence of the northeastern region of Catalonia demonstrated against the king's visit to the Catalan city of Gerona on Thursday.

"The Bourbon out of Gerona" and "Catalans do not have a king," the demonstrators chanted while the monarch inaugurated a technology park belonging to a local university.

The protesters displayed large images of the royal couple upside down, setting them on fire.

Prosecutors at the National Court asked the local authorities to identify the burners, who could face up to two years in prison for "serious slander against the highest institution of the state," as the prosecutors informed the Catalan authorities.

Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said the government "absolutely" condemned the burning of the pictures. In democracy, ideas had to be defended "with the word, with tolerance and respect," she added.

Former military ruler Francisco Franco personally named Juan Carlos as his successor prior to his death in 1975.

The nationalists also complained at the choice of the king to open the new university facility as a "person who has no link with the academic world, nor with the city, nor the country" in reference to Catalonia.

A sizeable minority of Catalans would like to see the region, which already enjoys considerable autonomy, achieve independence from Spain.

[Copyright AFP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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