King Felipe with the president (speaker) of Congress, Martitxell Batet, and Queen Letizia.

03-02-2020Efe

It was the opening of parliament on Monday - the opening of the fourteenth legislature of the Cortes Generales, to give the formal wording.

Officiating at the opening, King Felipe stated that "Spain cannot be for some against others; it must be of everyone and for everyone". The King expressed his wish that this legislature should serve as a means of recovering and strengthening the trust of the citizens in institutions. A further wish was for people to live in peace and freedom, and the King reminded deputies that they represent "the general interests of 47 million Spaniards".

He referred to the unity of Spain and to the diversity of parliament, calling for respect to be shown to deputies and ministers in the performance of their functions. "The diversity of ideas brings unity to our essence, and for this we have the Constitution, the meeting place for Spaniards and the bond for territorial diversity. It was created for dialogue and agreement, for the development of our collective living in democratic fulfilment."

This message of unity drew applause from most of the deputies in Congress. There were also cries of long live the King, Spain and the Constitution.

Ministers from Podemos applauded as the King entered the house. However, there was far from total harmony. While Podemos ministers applauded, other deputies did not.

Meanwhile, parties which assisted in enabling the investiture of Pedro Sánchez as prime minister - the Esquerra Republicana Catalunya, EH Bildu (Basque Country Unite) and the BNG (Galician Nationalist Bloc) - joined with others in issuing a statement under the heading of 'We do not have a King'. "On the democratic path to which we aspire, the King is not a valid interlocutor for us. He does not have the legitimacy of our peoples, and we do not recognise in him any political function."

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