This theater of various mobilizing and civil society

This paper aims at demonstrating how the democratic transition in Spain who was first regarded as a model in the third wave countries (as considered so by Samuel Huntington) ended up later on shown as a failure or, even as non-existent. Was it enough ? Was there more to be done ? Is it really finished, and can the current debates taking place in the country be linked to mistakes or disregards of the transition ? What happened with the Spanish “democratic revolution ? Or is it that it was never as democratic as citizens wanted it to be ?  On the first part of this paper, we will tackle the issues following the Restoration of the monarchy with Juan Carlos I, the “ruptura pactada” and see how the elite negotiations don’t imply that there was no civil mobilization. In fact we will see how the amnesty was brought up by members of the civil society a decade before the death of Franco. This finding will be linked with the economical growth Spain has known in the 60’s. On the other part of this paper we will see how the negotiations and pacts were made very difficult because of the acts of terrorism of ETA and the constant fear of a “coup”. We will focus on the years of 1975-1982.                       The Spanish model was pointed out as an insightful example of the “transitology” theory model, represented by authors as Lipset or Hitherto. This theory aims at explaining the rising and settling of liberal democracy in a country by prerequisite conditions. According to these theories, a certain level of wealth is required in so far as it brings cultural, social changes that affect the behaviour of actors of such country. Theorists as Hitherto regard Spain as an interesting example namely because the 60’s in Spain have been an interesting case of economic development and opening to the international market. Concurrently, in the 60’s and beginning of 70’s Spain has been the theater of various mobilizing and civil society organization movements. The 60’s and 70’s correspond to a big economic growth in Spain. After the three moderately failed plans for economic and social developments, the industrial sector entered in a period of rapid expansion. The development of the sector also started in Spain a crisis of the traditional agriculture model, with the expression of a new rural exodus. With the development of the third sector, a big factor of economic development was the tourism. With this economic development come important social changes; change of working conditions, the quality of life is better, States involves itself in reparation of infrastructures. This period in Spain is fundamental to understand the protests and demands that emerge.    As explained by Robert Fischman, the labor movement had an interesting impact on the mobilization during the late 60’s to 70’s, showing characteristics of an industrialized liberal democracy, rather than an authoritarian regime. Workers protests not the only ones, as student mobilization arrived to a high peak during this decade. The protests, as described by Paloma Aguilar had a clear political content and not only focused on worker’s labour conditions. Students movements embraced the political discontentment as such and academic movements were created to have a critical overlook on Franco’s regime. Calls for amnesty were first formulated by trade unions, but were stirred by the nationalist movements, namely the Basque country. The mobilization has been stronger and more tense, especially in the 70’s with big movements in relation to the arrest of political opponents of the regime, and the assassination of some of them. The article from the guardian recompiled the protests following the killing of five militant opponents. The opponents, considered as “terrorists” were given the death penalty accordingly to laws conducted a few months before. Spain democratic transition is often represented as a “transactional” model, implying elites negotiating, with a relatively small number of actors. The view “from below” is not discarded by this idea, there was a strong push from civil society towards amnesty, whether it took the shape of student or trade unions protests.   But, as Paloma Aguilar points it out, the first important collective action to demand an amnesty doesn’t come from trade unions or student protests but rather from a Christian petition. Justicia y Paz (Justice and Peace) with its leader Joaquin Ruiz-Gimenez lead a movement of petition signing in 1974.The organisation succeeded in collecting more than 150, 000 signatures from all social backgrounds.    A The new monarchy A) New monarchy, Juan Carlos I As the Historian Carlos Seco Serrano puts it, monarchy in Spain after Franco is debilitated and at loss of legitimacy, as the two direct actors are against it. Those who wished for a monopoly of the State and those seeking for revenge were on a war with monarchy. After the death of Franco, Juan Carlos directed a message to different actors of the regime to come: the Chambers, the military (whom we know the importance of for the insurrection of 1936) and the public, with the “Discourse of the crown”. The speech shows the desire to please the two teams: he is looking back on Franco’s years without attacking the ex-leader but rather honoring him for his attributed functions. On the other hand, he reinforces his will to start the transition by anchoring the new monarchy into legality and legitimacy. Monarchy should be the representant of peace, work, prosperity and collective will. He argues for jurisdictional respect, Restoration of the order and of Justice. Even if we notice the emotion towards Francisco Franco in the speech, Juan Carlos states clearly his will for change and the tools he will need; the legitimacy of a democratic regime. The role of monarchy was inevitable for the transition. Some authors like Miguel Herrero or Jorge Esteban even explain how the monarch had the tools in hand to change the regime, even with the franquist laws. The institutions could be reformated within the regime. In Spain, the Church has had a crucial importance for the citizens during the civil war and Franco’s dictature. As a simple anecdote, the importance of the Church was so big during the times of the second Republic, that when women were given the right to vote by the socialist coalition, they massively voted against the republicans because the local priests had more influence. The Cardinal Tarancon made two important speeches, one when Franco passed away, and one when Juan Carlos was corronated. He acknowledged the mistakes of Franco, keeping his distance. He claimed the independence of the Church and the benefits of the new reign for peace, justice, life and truth. How the imagery of the civil war influenced the idea of the transition ?  The civil war had previously been seen resting on the shoulders of the socialists, the “reds”. During the 60’s and 70’s, a liberation of thought occurred. Gerald Brenan in “the Spanish Labrynth” exposes the opinion that the civil war was the result of the failures of the Second Republic in its project of modernizing Spain. After Franco’s death, the discourse changed again. After allegations of political figures saying that the past had to be overcomed, the civil war was seen as a “fratricide”, a war in which the two camps were wrong and the convinvency was made impossible. So, after Franco passes away, we see theries of “collective guilt” emerging. The answer to this collective guilt had to be forgetting the past and making a silent promise to never let history repeat itself. As Paloma Aguilar puts it, in order not to let past mistakes be made again, the values of peace, order and Justice were put forward. Because violence and disorder was considered the background that led to the civil war in 1936, such situations could never happen again.  Juan Carlos sought as strategically more important someone who, yes, mastered the economical area, but who could also lead the country to a transition within the constitutional apparatus of the franquist regime. At the head of the Court; Fernandez Miranda who was made famous for dealing with association issues in the 70’s. With this precious ally (knowledge of jurisdiction, formalities and political experience) he could propose the process of emergency. In 1976, Adolfo Suarez was chosen as an interim president, until the legislative elections in 77 who gave him and his party (Union of the Democratic Center) a majority. The “rupture pactada”, called so from 1976. In march was created the unitarian group of the opposition. While the govenrment was seen as the “reformists”, the opposition called for a “rupture” and the emergence of the negociations was then called the “ruptura pactatda”. King Juan Carlos ended an important part of the democratic transitions in this times, by asking Carlos Arias Navarro, then president of government, to renounce to his work. Towards a constitution )The nez government made by Adolfo Suarez came as a surprise, and Suarez himself lasted long enough before his public image became positive. Javier Tusell argues that two characteristics that represent well the government were his youth and novelty. But, according to the author, if there was a will to change the game and actors towards democracy, no real negotiation with the opposition took place. Again, the military felt uneasy in this program, and this led to the resigning of the military vice-president, fernando de Santiago. Going towards a constitution means the creation of the chambers: a Congress and a Senate, voted by universal suffrage. These chambers would take on the task of writing a Constitution. The Senate would be following the majoritarian rule and the Congress, the proportional one. The law, named Law of Political Reformation passed, receiving 435 positive votes, but not without any tension during the preparations. The military elite was having a problem with the ruling class, and seven generals voted against the law. The result had yet to be ratified by national referendum, and it was the first vote that made the voice of citizens matter since the civil war.  Leading up to the debate of a referendum for a constitution, the Basque question takes more and more importance in the public debate. The PNV (nationalist Basque Party) advocates that the demands for autonomy were not reflected in the writing process of the Constitution. As a result, the PNV asks for Basque country citizens not to vote in the referendum for a Constitution. The results are striking, the yes gathered 88% of the citizens who vote in Spain, but only 31% in Basque country. The PNV ended up accepting the results of the vote, and this led to a Charter of regional self-govenrment in 1979, officially giving a statute of autonomy .  But the democratic transition in Spain cannot be understood without the analysis of the huge issues that the governments and citizens had to face: terrorism. During the years of 1976-1980, ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna) has been responsible for 70 percent of acts of terror in Spain. Until 1978 the nuber of deaths remained under the limit of 30 (21 in 1976, 29 in 1977) but the number grew incresingly until in 1980, where 120 people were killed. ETA is well known for years, but was no the only one. Lo GRAPO (Groups of Resistence Antifascist First of October) was formed by mmebers from the former communist party. From 1975 to 2000 they are reported to have killed 200 people. Their actions in the 70’s were mainly kidnappings, and they were made famous in 1976 for kidnapping Antonio Oriol, president of the Board of State. A big moment in Spain was the legalization of the communist party, on the 9th of april of 1977, even if, really the party was unofficially tolerated since the end of 1976. Santiago Carrillo, leader of the party made a point in coming back to Spain and make visits, to show himself as a politician, despite the ban. The tension was really strong with the Army, who advocated for a longer ban of the PCE (Communist party of Spain). The judicial authorities took their time to decide for a legalization of the party, while the public opinion was more and more at ease with the idea. In march of this year a Eurocomunist celebration in Madrid. When, on a Saturday, the decision was given to the army that the party was legalized, it was a really risky decision, probably the riskiest one from the transition since it could have stirred a “coup” from the right wing. The decision was received without so much of wrath, even if the the minister of the Marine resigned, making it the second military crisis in the transition. The amnisty was proclaimed in 1977, but didn’t come as such a surprise. The government had been liberating prisoners not directly implied in assassinations, and making pacts. All parties but one (AP, Popular Alliance) voted for the general Amnisty in order to reconcile the different actors, those who had been violented, and those who did it. During one year, there were three successive amnesties, who considered more and more greatly the numbers of people involved. The first one only acted on citizens who had not participated and were not accomplices of acts of violence. The second one, before the elections in march 1977 included them, but giving at last the power to the government to decide on the most serious crimes. The total amnesty came after the elections in the Cortes in October of 1977. Writing a constitution ? As we saw, Basque nationalist PNV reacted strongly to the redaction of the Constitution, explaining that they were not integrated to the Commission. This Commission was made of seven people. The process was made more complicated by some events: first in November of 1977 because there is a journalistic leak, and second in march of 1978 when the socialists announce their retirement from the commission. In October, it was finally approved by the chambers and ready to be submitted to the referendum. The transactional theory emphasizes this episode of consensus-making. The commission gathered centrists, socialists, communists, the right-wing and catalan nationalists. The elaboration, vote by chambers and ratification by referendum is a very complete accord between the different political powers. The final turnout was disappointing, only 69 percent of the electorate. But we have to remember the low turnout in Basque Country as a political statement. The constitution of 1978 gather 169 articles. The redaction of the constitution nowadays can help us pinpoint some elements that were put to negotiation or more difficult to agree on. For example, the monarchy who was still rejected by a part of the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Labour Party) who defended the republican model. The Constitution put into place an attenuated bicameralism (the Senate has a relatively small power). And the constitution establishes organic laws, which means that consensus must be the first rule to pass laws. The absolute majority is required for the legislative process, unlike many western-European country which rely on the half plus one of the voters. A reference to the Basque nationalism ? To satisfy the needs of the Catalans and the Basque, the article eight on the territorial organization of the State used the term “nationality” for Catalans and Basque. The announcement of a State based on decentralization was made to appease the tension from ETA and nationalist movements. What we saw is that, even if the PNV accepted the result of the Constitution, ETA did not. The result of the Constitution was already a victory itself: with the fear of a rebellion of army officers, the difficulty of dealing with ETA who exploited very violent means, the desire to negotiate but very cautiously, the final adoption of the constitution opened the path to more stability. A very important argument for the government had been the economy


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