The evolution of the pandemic has forced Congress to once again celebrate the anniversary of the Constitution in the Carrera de San Jerónimo, near the steps of the Puerta de los Leones, where the president of the Lower House, Meritxell Batet, will pronounce today a speech before the Prime Minister and senior political and institutional officials.
This is the second consecutive year in which, due to health restrictions linked to the pandemic, the event will be held in the street and not in the Lost Steps room of the Palace of Congress.
Batet will commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the Constitution at 12 noon, accompanied by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, by the newly elected President of the Constitutional Court, Pedro José González-Trevijano, and by the President of the General Council of the Judiciary ( CGPJ), Carlos Lesmes, whose mandate has expired for three years due to the lack of agreement to renew the CGPJ by the PSOE and PP.
The president of the Senate, Ander Gil, will not be able to attend the celebration since he remains isolated having contracted the coronavirus.
On the steps and on both sides of the lions there will also be the members of the Tables of Congress and the Senate and the spokespersons of the parliamentary groups of both Houses, as well as the ministers.
The leaders of the majority opposition parties, deputies and senators, former presidents of the Government and of Congress and the Senate, and constitutional speakers are other authorities who will attend the commemoration ceremony.
There will be, for example, the leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, and the president of Ciudadanos, Inés Arrimadas, but the presence of the nationalist and independentist formations is not expected, as usual.
Other senior officials are invited to the institutional act, such as the new president of the Court of Accounts, Enriqueta Chicano, or the new Ombudsman, Ángel Gabilondo.
The State Attorney General, Dolores Delgado, is also expected to attend; the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, and, as every year, the presidents of all the autonomous communities and cities have been summoned.
In this sense, the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso; the president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo; the president of La Rioja, Concepción Andreu; the one from Murcia, Fernando López Miras; the one from Aragon, Francisco Javier Lambán; the one from the Canary Islands, Víctor Torres; and that of Castilla y León, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco.
Likewise, there will be representatives of employers’ associations and unions and of civil society.
The commemoration of Constitution Day coincides with the processing in Congress of the bill to reform the Constitution to remove the term “diminished” from article 49, which has been opposed by the PP and Vox.
Both formations argue that it is not the right political moment to open the melon of a constitutional reform and the leader of the popular, Pablo Casado, recently accused the PSOE of promoting a “historical revisionism” with the purpose of “justifying constitutional changes without counting on the PP “.
Hand outstretched to PP
The truth is that government sources indicate that the President of the Government will extend his hand to the popular on Monday to reach a consensus on the reform of Article 49 of the Magna Carta and from Moncloa they reiterate that the PP has to enter into this reform and does not have no sense that is blocking it.
On the other hand, on the possibility of reforming the Constitution “with the aim of eliminating or retouching the inviolability of the king, the Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, said that” right now there are not enough majorities “to address it although” the debate is there”.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.