December 7th, 2007


Three interesting articles

Yesterday was Constitution Day in Spain, so to celebrate I took out my copy. It's a booklet with 169 articles and would have taken two hours to read out loud, had that celebration been held.

The Spanish Congress did hold a special session yesterday to honor the Constitution, which some political parties boycotted, and some of the officials that came used the opportunity to snipe at each other, even after the outgoing head of Congress warned its members that "Spanish society will not tolerate another legislative session so rough and so rude." Crowds in front of the Congress building booed politicians as they entered. It's not just the politicians who are rude.

In spite of all that, here are three provisions of the Constitution that you may find interesting:

1. All Spaniards have the right to freely choose where they live and to travel freely around Spain. During medieval times, this wasn't the case, and lawmakers here have long memories. (Article 19)

2. The person of the Monarch inviolable and is not subject to legal responsibility. "The King can do no wrong," is the way it's sometimes put in English. That is, no matter what he (or she) does, he cannot be brought to justice and fined or sent to jail. (Article 56)

3. The Administration or Congress can declare a State of Alarm, State of Emergency, or State of Siege. (Article 116)

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