The recent constitutive session of the Spanish Courts and the oath formulas used by fifty elected parliamentarians were a real affront to democratic institutions. If we compare the firm response of the then President of the Congress, Felix Pons, to a similar situation thirty years ago, with the passivity with which the degradation of such a solemn act was tolerated last Tuesday, an institutional crisis is evident to which it is essential to rebel and whose implication would be a huge mistake.

The serenity with which the dignity of the Parliament was defended in 1989 was the result of a clear conscience on the part of the two great political parties that humiliation cannot be tolerated to the institutions that represent the Spanish people. This antecedent also took place a few days after the iron curtain that separated the free world from a dictatorship that had annihilated the institutions and democracy of their respective countries for decades.

Spain was placed in the right place in history since 1975 when we began a suggestive project of life in common with the Transition, one of the most successful works of political architecture of the twentieth century. And the 1978 Constitution is his great legacy that we should all defend with determination and enthusiasm, in the face of the increasingly numerous attacks he suffers. For something, it was endorsed by almost 90% of citizens getting the bridges to tear down the walls and that the Spaniards enjoyed the best years of our recent history.

Constitutional Spain is a magnificent example of how successful the theses of professors Robinson and Acemoglu are in their book Why countries fail. It is the institutions enjoyed by some countries and not others that justify the differences that exist, for example, between the city of Nogales in Arizona and the city of Nogales in Sonora, only separated by a few meters of border. Institutions are the indispensable sails for the winds of progress to caress a nation, and present-day Spain has been driven by those winds for more than three decades. That is why it is so serious to tolerate the degradation of institutions. To accept that an autonomous community lives installed in disloyalty or in open illegality, or that a prison can be a place of pilgrimage to negotiate the investiture of a President of Government not only means an aberration for the dignity of a democracy but the guarantee of failure of a country.

We enjoyed an exemplary democracy whose origin is a Constitution of all and for all that surpassed the two Spain that froze the heart of Machado and the unstoppable cainism that throughout our history had devoured the Spaniards. We reconcile, the future defeated the past, the desire for freedom to fear, hope for resentment and concord to anger. That was the spirit of the Transition to solve the debates that for centuries had divided the Spaniards. That is why the Historical Memory has never been the rescue of the forgetfulness of victims of the past but an amendment to the totality to the reconciliation of the Transition and to the architects who made it possible including those coming from the political left.

The 1978 Constitution is the key to the vault of our Rule of Law, the rule of law that has triumphed from the two great challenges our democracy has suffered in these four decades. If Don Juan Carlos silenced the sabers on February 23, 1981, Don Felipe led the Spanish people in their response to the separatist coup to our constitutional order, and in the actions of the responsible political forces, the security forces and the judges and prosecutors to defeat the "rauxa del procès".

Undoubtedly, Spain has in the Constitution the most useful tool to recover political stability, and therefore, in these hard times all parties should defend it without reservation. However, today the Popular Party is the only one that has both feet within the Constitution, which accepts it in its entirety, from the preamble to the final provision and that is why we oppose the attempts to break the agreement that enlightened it, both for those who wish to end the unity of the Spanish Nation by introducing plurinationality, and for those who intend to open our institutional system in a channel by suppressing autonomy or the Senate.

We live serious hours for our democracy. The acting Government does not seek partners but accomplices in a mutation that intends to bury forty years of concord. That is what the road map agreed at the Pedralbes summit means and the agreements with Bildu in a few institutions. Yesterday's terrorists cannot be today's partners, as a former socialist minister recently reported. It is time to stop playing with the State and make real state policy. The Constitution is the solution, not the problem, and therefore the urgent thing is not to propose its reform but to enforce it in a determined way. There is no possible or timely modification when what is intended to be attacked by some is the very foundation of our political system, which is the unity of Spain.

Without institutions there is no democracy, and it is time to value them as a genuine expression of the freedom and rights of Spaniards. Only in this way can we make that “ever noble Spain” that Cernuda de Galdós glossed real. It is in our hand to make it possible, defending the Constitution of Concord, the true measure of contemporary Spain, which made us a nation of free and equal citizens.

Pablo Casado
President of the Popular Party

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