May 27, 2019
Latest News
European Union

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
Renault confirms it has received a merger proposal from Fiat Chrysler

Paris, May 27 (efe-epa).- The Renault car manufacturing group confirmed on Monday that it had received a proposal from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to...

Fiat Chrysler unveils Renault merger proposal

By Sean McLain, Nick Kostov and Eric Sylvers

Hamilton quickest at Monaco as F1 remembers Lauda at free practice sessions

Monaco, May 23 (efe-epa).- Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time around the street circuit of Monte Carlo's capital during both the...

FAA's acting chief won't predict when Boeing 737 MAX will return to flight

By Andy Pasztor

Holland heads into European elections with 2 far-right parties in the running

By Imane Rachidi

India's antitrust watchdog surveys e-commerce firms including Amazon, Walmart

New Delhi, May 22 (efe-epa).- India's antitrust watchdog is assessing the domestic e-commerce sector, a step that could have consequences for Amazon.com...

Ryanair: This year's profit to be dented by Boeing 737 MAX grounding

By Robert Wall

5 countries to watch out for in the run-up to European Parliament elections

By Lara Malvesi

Uber's stock tumbles further

By Maureen Farrell, Corrie Driebusch and Justin Baer

Saudi oil tankers attacked before entering Persian Gulf

Dubai, May 13 (efe-epa).- Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers suffered significant damage in an attack over the weekend near the Strait of Hormuz, the kingdom's...

Report: Co-founder backs Facebook breakup

New York (USA), May 10 (efe-epa).- Chris Hughes, who helped Mark Zuckerberg create the company that eventually became Facebook, is calling for the...

Uber is the largest new US listing since 2014, valuation at $82 billion

By Corrie Driebusch and Maureen Farrell

Barcelona's 4-0 loss at Liverpool poses serious questions

Barcelona, May 8 (efe-epa).- Barcelona’s stinging 4-0 defeat at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium has ended the Catalan powerhouse’s dream of another Champions...

Hackers steal more than $40 million of Bitcoin from cryptocurrency exchange

Shanghai (China), May 8 (efe-epa).- Binance, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said hackers stole more than $40 million worth of bitcoin...

Stocks continue to fall as uncertainty over trade talks persists

New York (USA), May 8 (efe-epa).- Global stocks continued to tumble on Wednesday as a familiar worry threatens to end the unwavering rally that has defined...

Facebook's opportunity in groups

By Laura Forman

Shares of pork producer WH Group pounded

By Steven Russolillo and Lucy Craymer

Bombardier consolidated aviation units, to divest from N. Ireland, Morocco

Montreal, Canada, May 2 (efe-epa).- Aircraft and railway train manufacturing company Bombardier Inc. said it would consolidate its aerospace assets into a...

France set to introduce safety measures to protect heritage after Notre-Dame

Paris, May 2 (efe-epa).- France looks set to reinforce security measures at its cathedrals and other national monuments when repair and refurbishment works...

Puzzle: Why certain safety features on Boeing 737 MAX jets were turned off

By Andy Pasztor

Bottas wary of Azerbaijan F1 circuit's unpredictability, Raikkonen loses P8

Baku, Apr 28 (efe-epa).- Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who best took advantage of the conditions while qualifying for the Azerbaijan Formula One Grand...

Ferrari fastest in Azerbaijan F1 GP practice, Leclerc leading teammate Vettel

Baku, Apr 27 (efe-epa).- The final practice session before the season’s fourth Formula One Grand Prix race in Azerbaijan was dominated on Saturday by...

UK's opposition leader, Speaker to snub President Trump with dinner refusals

London, Apr 27 (efe-epa).- The leader of the United Kingdom’s opposition party and the speaker of parliament have both said they will snub the president of...

Azerbaijan GP marred as Williams hits drain cover, Ferrari's Leclerc fastest

Baku, Apr 26 (efe-epa).- Practice ahead of Formula One's fourth race of the season in Azerbaijan was marred by a manhole cover from street drains that came...

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