Theater of Cruelty

Spain's fascist shadow sites

Spain's Juan Carlos I was without his own property when he became a monarch in 1975. In 2012 his wealth was estimated at 1800 million euros. Where does all the money come from?


In Spain, the king's absolute immunity has been used to enrich the monarchy and a significant proportion of politicians and their acquaintances. King Juan Carlos I was appointed by a bloodthirsty dictator, while Felipe IV was swiftly crowned without consensus as his father's position was no longer sustainable – rumors of millions in commissions had become too fragile.

Thanks to a Franco-era pact, Juan Carlos I received a commission for each oil barrel imported from Saudi Arabia. Since 1973, all Spain's governments have respected this pact, but since the King abdicated, it is uncertain whether it is still valid. Don't forget that Juan Carlos I was without his own property when he became a monarch. In 2012, his fortune was estimated at 1,800 million euros by The New York Times. Where does all the money come from?

Fascist mafia?

Countless litigation links the King's other family to illegal commissions and concessions without government contracts, and in some cases has resulted in sentencing. The most famous, the so-called Nóos case, concerns the king's son-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarín. Princess Cristina – the daughter of Juan Carlos I and wife of Urdangarín – was actually convicted, but escaped with a fine: The documents of Urdangarin's colleague Diego Torres, which linked the king and Infanta Cristina directly to the Nóos scandal, disappeared without a trace. The royal house has always been protected by the political and legal institutions.

A roundup of all the corruption cases would fill the entire newspaper.

The privatization process of state corporations, initiated by Felipe González in 1982 and continued by Prime Minister José María Aznar, has been a constant source of corruption: Family members of Rodrigo Rato – Minister of Finance (1996-2004) of the People's Party (PP) under Aznar, Director of the International the Monetary Fund (IMF) in the period 2004–2007 and the director of Bankia (2010–2012), which was one of the banks saved by the state – invoiced lucrative for communication contracts with companies in the process of privatization. Coincidentally, Rato was jailed after the so-called "black credit cards" scandal to senior financiers and politicians who, in hiding – without fees, registrations or restrictions – spent the state's money on brothel visits and other "personal expenses". The scandal also included the head of the royal house. A rundown of all the corruption cases known so far would fill the entire newspaper.

Court reporter Jaime Peñafiel discovered suspicious connections between Juan Carlos I and Juan Villalonga, the former head of the company Telefónica and close friend of Aznar. The millions transferred for the privatization of Telefónica – one of the Spanish state's jewels in 1997, and today listed in IBEX 35 – confirm the suspicion. Many of the companies in the stock index – ACS, Santander, FECSA, ENDESA, Telefónica – have ended up there due to concessions from family members during and after Franco's dictatorship. Is it an exaggeration to talk about a fascist mafia? An organized mafia? Still, nobody from the Borbón House has condemned Franco.

King Felipe VI, like Juan Carlos I before him, is the commander-in-chief of the army. Juan Carlos I is a proud militarist and does not hide his enthusiasm for war. His support for the Saudi royal house has been inflexible and very lucrative – sound recording by mistress Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein ties him to commissions for the development of high-speed trains in Mecca. The constitutional parties – the People's Party (PP), the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and Ciudadanos (Social Liberal Catalan Party) -
has unanimously (!) decided that Spain will continue to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, despite the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Through the State Attorney, are they also blocking any investigation into the case involving Juan Carlos I. And still does the PSOE dare to call itself "Republican"?

State and capital

The list is endless, and Felipe VI seems to maintain the status quo. It's hard to forget the pictures where he rolls majestically around Madrid in a Rolls-Royce he inherited from Franco, while hundreds of policemen prepare for the crowd that was to receive the new king in military uniform… The crowd was absent – people preferred to stay at home .

Demands for democratic change are turned down militarily and legally

All fascism is based on military power, consolidated through the construction of a nepotistic network that enriches and strengthens the relationship between state and capital. This spiral facilitates anchoring of corruption, which in turn weakens the country's democratic instruments. The current royal house may not be as charming as classic fascism of the 30s, but fascism, for its part, has undergone modernization. However, the form does not hide the facts – when society has demanded a democratic change – as in Catalonia – the answer has been military and legal. Don't forget that the paramilitary police force Guardia Civil, which was rewarded with honors from Felipe VI after intervening in schools when serving as polling stations, is a military body.

Several judges consider the PP a "criminal organization" and believe that the party should be banned, and the PSOE is not much better. At this point, it is clear to everyone what level of corruption and favoritism we face: Only the PP alone is charged with over 900 corruption cases, but still avoids exclusion from politics.

The court's efforts, on the other hand, will always be in vain as long as the Constitutional Court is influenced and infiltrated by a network that shares the interests of politicians. In the Constitutional Court Room 2 we find Pablo Llarena. He has the ultimate responsibility for the case against the Catalan independence movement, and is directly responsible for the existence of political prisoners without judgment or clear indictment. All in 2016, the association Juezas y Jueces para la Democracia (Judges for Democracy) demonstrated that Llarena's promotion to the Constitutional Court violated several clauses in the Organic Law of the Judiciary from the Rules of the same Constitutional Court and the Constitution.

Invisible colonialism

Despite charges of fraud, Llarena retains her judicial position. How exactly was he – rather than five other suitable candidates – chosen for one of the most important tasks in the justice system? He was obviously appointed to convict Catalonia, and he fulfills his role by manipulating the assignment of case number: 20.907 / 2017. This case number was to indicate that in 2017, a total of 20.906 cases had been brought before the Constitutional Court's Hall 2 – a ridiculous number: in reality, there were only 15 cases in 2017, of which 4 were accepted. The reason for the manipulation is that the highest numbers are assigned to judges with lower seniority. Fourteen judges were both older and had more experience than Llarena. If the case had had the correct number, 03/2017, teammate Antonio del Moral García would have sentenced the case. How is it that Llarena, with only one year's time in the Constitutional Court, became a judge in such an important case?

What exactly is Pablo Llarena judging? A lot, but nothing to do with the Catalans' legitimate rebellion, rioting or ambition. That is why former Minister José Manuel García-Margallo can shamelessly say on the radio that "the state will never accept a peaceful transition to Catalan independence". That is why Pablo Casado, the young and newly elected leader of the PP, can warn Catalonia's President Carles Puigdemont that he may one day be executed.

The fact that Catalonia is pushing for a change of status threatens the premise that facilitates the lavish life of a mafia that permeates the monarchy and political parties – and the companies of IBEX 35, largely driven by the families of power under the dictatorship. And therein lies the problem: In recent decades, the monarchy has fallen over large parts of the country. In Catalonia, between 70 and 80 percent of the people will have a republic. An in-depth reform of the Constitution, which addresses the problem of Spain's diverse nations, must be decided by referendum and lay the foundation for a transition to the Republic. Therefore, Catalonia can neither "say, do, or be", because if it says, does or is, it means the end of the royal business's profitable business.

To quote Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano: “Colonialism mules you without hypocrisy – it refuses you to speak, it refuses you to do, it refuses you to be. Invisible colonialism, on the other hand, convinces you that submission is your destiny and that impotence is your nature – it convinces you that talking, doing, being cannot be possible. "

Also read: Spain's anarchist roots

Marc Molas Carol
Marc Molas Carol
Molas Carol is a music producer and political activist living in Spain.

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