King Felipe of Spain defends his country’s constitution as he opens Congress after months of political deadlock

THREE of Spain’s regional parties boycotted Wednesday’s opening of a new Congress session by King Felipe- nearly two weeks after Pedro Sanchez won the prime ministerial investiture vote.

The king, who defended the country’s constitution in his speech, was accompanied by his wife Queen Letizia and one of their two daughters, Princess Leonor.

Felipe congratulated Sanchez on his re-election as president, as the opposition Partido Popular and Vox parties continued to show their displeasure over the prime minister cutting a deal with Catalunya’s Junts party that ensured he remained in power.

Wednesday’s ceremony was snubbed by three left-wing parties from Galicia, Catalunya, and the Basque Country.

The ERC, EH Bildu, and BNG parties issued a statement saying that ‘we do not have a king’.

“The monarchy is an anachronistic institution, incompatible with democratic principles,” the statement read.

In his speech, Felipe called on politicians to seek understanding and said ‘political pluralism will improve’ the country.

“Our obligation, the obligation of all institutions, is to bequeath the youngest Spaniards a solid and united Spain, without divisions or conflicts,” he said.

Congress speaker Francina Armengol also spoke, appealing to politicians to work towards reducing inequality, violence against women and polarisation.

Her remarks were greeted by silence and no applause from the Partido Popular and Vox delegates.

The PP leader, Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, said: “It was the worst speech of a Congress speaker that I’ve ever heard.”

“When the speaker behaves like a member of one party, it doesn’t deserve appaluse,” he added.

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