Spain remembers close call with military coup

24th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

24 February 2006, MADRID — The Spanish Parliament approved a declaration supporting freedom and the constitutional order on the 25th anniversary of the coup attempt that threatened its recently restored democracy.

24 February 2006

MADRID — The Spanish Parliament approved a declaration supporting freedom and the constitutional order on the 25th anniversary of the coup attempt that threatened its recently restored democracy.

The Chamber of Deputies, which was the scene of the armed assault by a group of civil guards 23 February 1981, issued a declaration acknowledging the decisive role played by the Spanish public and government in defeating the attempted uprising.

On the day of the coup, six-and-a-half hours after some 200 civil guards staged their armed takeover of the lower house, King Juan Carlos appeared on television to condemn the move and reiterate his commitment to constitutional principles.

At that moment, military figures behind the attempted coup realized it was doomed to fail, although the country had gone through several dramatic hours during which it was not known how the young king or the country's military would react to the uprising led by Lt. Col. Antonio Tejero Molina.

The daily Melilla on Thursday published a letter written by Tejero, who had taken over Congress with a pistol in hand, in which he did not specifically mention the coup, but asserted that Spanish unity is presently in danger.

He referred to the reform of the Catalonia region's autonomy statute, saying that if it were approved "Spain won't be Spain any longer; they will have killed it!"

Tejero was expelled from the civil guard and sentenced to 30 years in prison - of which he served 15 - for staging the attempted coup.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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