May 27, 2019
Latest News

Spain celebrates 40th anniversary of its constitution amid political division

Madrid, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- Spain on Thursday marked 40 years since the adoption of its current constitution – a landmark document that saw the transition from a reactionary and brutal military dictatorship to parliamentary democracy – amid a strong political polarization and disunity brought about by separatist tensions in the distinct regions of Catalonia and the Basque Country.

A solemn ceremony held in Madrid saw the attendance of members of both houses of parliament, the sitting government, the Spanish royal family and the country's former prime ministers, as well as the surviving "Fathers of the Constitution."

"The 1978 constitution, the base upon which democracy was consolidated, was the biggest political success in contemporary Spain," said King Felipe VI in a speech, adding that it was still necessary to continue building on that foundation.

The monarch endorsed the notion of adapting the text to what he described as a country "open to change" with a "critical but constructive spirit."

In a context of a strong pro-independence movement in Catalonia, which led to a constitutional crisis that has consumed Spanish politics for the past year, Felipe underscored Spain's territorial, cultural and linguistic plurality as recognized in the document being celebrated.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez marked the anniversary on Twitter by calling on the Spanish people to "recover the spirit of concord" present in 1978 – three years after the death of right-wing dictator Francisco Franco, who ruled the country with an iron fist for four decades and relentlessly persecuted any hint of democratic opposition.

"Today, reforming (the constitution) is reinforcing it," he added.

While conservative politicians such as Popular Party leader Pablo Casado have argued that the constitution is in no need of reform and announced that they would block any attempts to change it, the center-left has long called for what it says is an urgently-needed update to the text.

Pablo Iglesias, the leader of the progressive Podemos party, has defended amending the constitution in order to advance toward a republican form of government, as he believed the head of State "should be chosen through an election, not through fecundation."

The far-right party VOX has said it would only support changing the document if it meant "more Spain and less autonomous regions," in reference to the fairly decentralized territorial distribution of powers introduced by the constitution that gives regions significant latitude when it comes to decisions on matters such as education or healthcare, for example.

The constitution, whose language was drafted by members from across the political spectrum (including the recently-legalized Communist Party), was ratified in a referendum by 91.81 percent of eligible Spanish voters on that chilly Wednesday in 1978.

News history
Seven key points to understanding the EU elections results

By Laura Malvesí

Trump stresses Pyongyang has not conducted nuclear tests in 2 years

Tokyo, May 27 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States underlined Monday that over the last two years North Korea has not tested any nuclear weapons...

Acid attack in Turkey takes gender violence debate all the way to government

Iskenderun (Turkey), May 27 (efe-epa).- A vicious acid attack perpetrated by a man on his ex-girlfriend in Turkey which severely disfigured her face and...

Trump believes US could make nuclear deal with Iran

Tokyo, May 27 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States said Monday he believes that his country could reach an agreement with Iran to ensure that...

Trump first foreign leader to be received by new Japanese emperor

Tokyo, May 27 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Monday became the first foreign leader to be received in audience by the new emperor of...

EPP wins poll amid rise of Greens, Liberal Democrats, some far-right parties

Laura Perez-Cejuela and Laura Zornoza

New York, May 26 (EFE).- Some 2,300 US sailors have dropped anchor in New York for the traditional "Fleet Week," a tribute by the Big Apple to US maritime...

Bolsonaro supported by thousands in Brazilian cities

By Waldheim Garcia Montoya

Tornado kills 2 in Oklahoma

Washington, May 26 (efe-epa).- At least two people were killed and several others injured when a tornado tore through El Reno, Oklahoma, the city's mayor,...

Powerful quake rocks Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, kills 1

Lima, May 26 (efe-epa).- At least one person was killed and 11 others were injured by the magnitude-7.5 earthquake that had its epicenter in the Peruvian...

Iran says willing to make a non-aggression pact with the Arab countries

Baghdad, May 26 (efe-epa).- Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Sunday said his country was willing to make a "non-aggression agreement" with...

Millions of Europeans head out for mammoth final day of EU parliament elections

Madrid, May 26 (efe-epa).- Voters across the European Union on Sunday cast their ballots in the final day of European parliamentary elections, a huge...

Trump gives trophy to sumo winner during Japan visit

Tokyo, May 26 (efe-epa).- The United States President Donald Trump on Sunday awarded a trophy to the winner of a sumo wrestling final in the Japanese...

Busy day for Spanish voters as country holds local, regional and EU elections

Madrid, May 26 (efe-epa).- Spanish voters on Sunday are heading out to polling stations for the second time in less than a month as the country holds...

Influential ex-prime minister of Thailand dies at 98

Bangkok, May 26 (efe-epa).- Former prime minister of Thailand Prem Tinsulanonda, a retired general and he head of the Royal Privy Council, died on Sunday at...

Voting begins in Lithuania for presidential run-off, European elections

Riga, May 26 (efe-epa).- Polling booths in Lithuania opened at 7am (0400 GMT) on Sunday for the second round of presidential polls as well as the European...

Privileges, austerity lead to resignations in Mexican government

By Jose Antonio Torres.

Trump and Abe have first informal chat over golf as trade talks get underway

Tokyo, May 26 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Sunday had his first informal talks with the Japanese prime minister during a round of golf...

Gandhi offers his resignation over electoral debacle, party rejects it

New Delhi, May 25 (efe-epa).- The leader of India's main opposition Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, tendered his resignation on Saturday following his party's...

South African President Ramaphosa takes oath of office

Johannesburg, May 25 (efe-epa).- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in on Saturday as the nation celebrated Africa Day.

Spain's Sánchez looks to consolidate power in regional, EU elections

By Rafael Cañas

EU elections kick off year of comprehensive leadership change in the bloc

By Catalina Guerrero

Trump arrives in Japan on official visit with North Korea, Iran on the agenda

By Agustin de Garcia

Families demand return of missing relatives in Bangladesh

Dhaka, May 25 (efe-epa).- Family members of hundreds of people who disappeared between 2009 and 2019 in Bangladesh, took to the street in capital Dhaka on...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.