Women should be allowed to acceed throne - Aznar

8th December 2003, Comments 0 comments

8 December 2003, MADRID - Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar said women should be given the right to assume the Spanish throne, it was reported Monday.

8 December 2003

MADRID - Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar said women should be given the right to assume the Spanish throne, it was reported Monday.

Aznar made the comments as he admitted reforms were inevitable to the Spanish Constitution, which went into effect 25 years ago.

But he said there was no urgency in implementing such changes.

"If anyone proposes reforming the rules, the content of the proposal will have to be weighed," Aznar told reporters after a ceremony commemorating the Constitution's anniversary in Madrid.

But Aznar said there were four "essential" parts of the constitution which should never be changed.

These concerned Spain's political regime, basic freedoms, separation of powers and federal-style unity of independent communities.

"Proposing reforms that touch on one of those four basic pillars means opening the door to political conflict whose consequences we cannot foresee," Aznar said.

One of those original parliamentarians, Gabriel Cisneros, who helped draft the 1978 Constitution, agreed a change was needed to allow women to succeed to the throne.

"It's nothing urgent," he said. "We have a young king who enjoys good health. But, in light of modern sensibilities, putting off women is unacceptable."

Without barring women from assuming the throne, the Spanish Constitution recognises male priority over the order in which the king's children are born.

Spaniards last Saturday honoured the 25th anniversary of the Constitutiuon which marked a milestone between four decades of Francisco Franco's dictatorship and today's modern democracy.

It was the product of a consensus among the nation's political parties and overwhelmingly ratified by a referendum in 1978 - three years after Franco died. The only party to oppose it were the Basque separatists.

The 1977 elections, the first since Franco's forces won the 1936-39 Civil War, brought some clarity to Spain's political scene. Representatives of all six main political parties drafted the document.

While the document was being drafted, the centrist government of Adolfo Suarez faced some difficult challenges, including terrorist attacks by the radical Basque separatist group ETA, which has slain 850 people since launching its violent push for an independent Basque state 30 years ago.

Stable democratic government has helped the Spanish economy.

In 1978, Spain's per capita gross domestic product was 30 percent lower than the average of other Western European countries.

By 2002, the gap had narrowed to make Spain's GDP only 15 percent lower than other advanced European countries.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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