Monday, January 18

The King presides over the Military Easter marked by the controversy of the military chat

The King during his speech last year at the Military Easter.

The King during his speech last year at the Military Easter.

Felipe VI presides this Wednesday, together with the head of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, Military Easter ceremony, which this year is marked by the pandemic and by the controversy both from the letter from retired Army commanders sent to the King criticizing the Government and from the chat with threatening comments.

The act with the leadership of the Armed Forces (FAS) that is held every January 6 in the Royal Palace is the reappearance of Don Felipe since his Christmas Eve speech and Sánchez’s announcement that the Crown was going to undertake “a renewal roadmap” to make it more transparent and exemplary after the crisis caused by the alleged hidden businesses abroad of Juan Carlos I.

The Head of State, in the company of Queen Letizia, will deliver a speech in the Throne Room after Defense Minister Margarita Robles does.

In the interventions, there could be some allusion to the controversy that arose with the WhatsApp chat in which a group of retired soldiers of the XIX promotion of the General Air Academy they spoke of “pronouncements” and of “shooting 26 million” Spaniards for their discomfort with the PSOE Government and United We Can.

Robles announced in early December lat the request of the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate whether these “unacceptable” comments they could be a crime.

In parallel to the chat, 73 retired Army officers sent a letter to Felipe VI in which they assured that the “national cohesion” ran serious risks with the current “social-communist government, supported by pro-independence filoetarras.”

Robles censured in the same way that the signatories of the writing wanted to implicate the King “cloaking themselves in a military condition and attributing qualities that they do not have.”

Sánchez joined the criticism against those who “they do not represent the Army of Spain of the XXI century“and regretted that” in the minds of some the memory of Franco persists. ”

At last year’s ceremony, the King already praised “the loyalty and the constant and generous dedication” of the FAS and the Civil Guard, as well as his commitment “to Spain and to the Constitution.”

Due to the pandemic, the number of guests in the Throne Room will be reduced to a third, so that only the main civil, military and decorated authorities will be there.

As the protocol marks, in addition to Sánchez and Robles, there will be the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, so there will be no ministers from United We Can.

Last year, Sánchez was at the gates of his investiture, making it the first Military Easter with the coalition Executive.

Among the military authorities, there will be the Chief of Defense StHeadJemad), General Miguel Ángel Villarroya, those of the three Armies and the Civil Guard, and the new head of the Military Quarter of the House of the King, General Emilio Gracia Surgeon.

The members of the military commissions will follow the act from the Hall of Columns, where the kings will pass before accessing the throne, when the round of greetings in the Gasparini room is suppressed.

As well the wine of honor is suspended with which the reception is usually closed.

In the formation of the Royal Guard in the Plaza de la Armería, its components will be more distanced and with a mask, following sanitary recommendations.

The Military Easter will be the reunion of the King with Sánchez, who have not met in public for two months.

The President of the Government announced last week that Felipe VI is going to undertake a renewal of the Crown to move towards “an updated constitutional parliamentary monarchy” to the current times, after the erosion caused by the case of Juan Carlos I.

In the case of his father, Felipe VI made an indirect allusion in his Christmas Eve speech by highlighting “ethical and moral principles must be above family considerations.”

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