The Spanish model was pointed out as an insightful exmaple 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 coutry 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 intersting 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. –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 assasinations of some of them. The article from the guardian recompiles 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. The will of an amnesty before the end of the dictature? Student mobilizations, trade unions, and in 1974 the christian signatures for the amnesty 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 juridictional respect, restauration 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. The role of the Church: 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. Who to name for the more important roles? Juan Carlos sought as strategically more important someone who, yes, masterred 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 assoication issues in the 70’s. With this precious ally (knowledge of juridiction, 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. 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 ciitzens not to vote in the referendum for a constituttion. 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, officialy giving a statute of autonomy . 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.
A real pact with the oposition ? 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 demission 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. 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 number of deaths remained under the limit of 30 (21 in 1976, 29 in 1977) but the number grew increasingly until in 1980, where 120 people were killed. ETA is well known for years but was no the only one.
Lo GRAPO (Groups of Resistance Antifascist First of October) was formed by members of 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 Eurocommunism 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 minister of the Marine resigned, making it the second military crisis in the transition.
The amnesty was proclaimed in July of 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 Amnesty in order to reconcile the different actors, those who had been violented, and those who did it.