There was a table reserved for ten in one of the private dining rooms of the Congress. Your president, Meritxell Batet, He invited the main representatives of the powers of the State to a lunch after the commemorative act for the 40 years of the failed coup.

While they finished dessert – a mosaic of fruit with tangerine sorbet -, Miquel Roca and Miguel Herrero and Rodríguez de Miñón they were prompted to congratulate the Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, and the leader of the opposition, Pablo Casado: “How well you get along!” They said, surprised by the good harmony that both leaders showed in private.

In addition to Batet, Sánchez, Casado and the two fathers of the Constitution, the president of Congress reserved a place for the president of the Senate, Pilar Llop; for Carmen Calvo, that she was in her capacity as Minister of Relations with the Courts; Juan José González Rivas, President of the Constitutional Court and Charles Lesmes, highest representative of the General Council of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court. I presided over lunch Felipe VI.

The King was the real protagonist, describe sources present in the food. Diners put aside uncomfortable topics – “Juan Carlos was not discussed” – and the imminent renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary was also overlooked.

Lunch went smoothly “very calm“The atmosphere, a meal for ten on the 40th anniversary of 23-F, did not invite Sánchez and Casado to talk about the progress in the negotiation to renew the pending organs.

The two, witnesses present, spoke “in a good tone” on all the issues that arose as lunch progressed. For example, both the chief executive and the leader of the opposition they showed their rejection for the hanged doll that appeared with the image of Carmen Calvo on Saturday in Santiago de Compostela.

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The menu

The guests ate at the same table where there was “a lot of distance” between them. For the first course there was scampi salad, with almond cream and confit tomato. Second, beef cheek in wine, with Manchego tile and potato cream.

Between courses there was talk of the “great speech” that the King gave in the Hall of Lost Steps of Congress: it was the first time that he referred to his father in a public intervention since Juan Carlos was in Abu Dhabi.

Felipe VI praised the “firmness” and “authority” of his father as “determinants for the defense and triumph of democracy“that day when the colonel Antonio Tejero unsuccessfully perpetrated a coup.

The president of Congress also received private compliments, who publicly thanked the institutions, “headed by King Juan Carlos”, to “defeat the coup plotters.”

Up to seven parliamentary groups – all priority partners of the coalition government – declined the invitation to the event. They wanted to show their position against the King Emeritus, who left Spain last August to prevent his latest scandals from splashing his son.

Felipe VI and Batet underlined in their speeches that the event celebrated the triumph of democracy before that coup attempt in which the foundations of the democratic system were shaken. The Monarch emphasized that “all citizens and institutions must feel committed and obliged” to defend “the democratic principle that underpins our coexistence.”

The president of Congress thanked the government, administrations and the judiciary for their work, “which prosecuted and convicted the authors of the coup.” As well highlighted the “dignity” of those who suffered the violence of the assailants in the Hemicycle.

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After reviewing that episode, Batet cataloged the “dangers” that democracy currently suffers: the “delegitimization” and “instrumentalization” of the “institutions themselves to denature them” and turn democracy into a “facade stripped of its fundamental contents “: “pluralism, freedoms, equality of people and social cohesion”.

Batet’s nod to the Emeritus for his defense of democracy is a setback for United We Can, which has long focused on the Monarchy and questioning the democratic quality of Spain. Pablo Iglesias, invited to the event as second vice president of the Government, did not even bother to hide and did not applaud when Batet finished his speech and gave the floor to the King.

The farewell

Felipe VI left the Congress of Deputies on Cedaceros Street, accompanied by the President of the Government and Meritxell Batet. One step behind they were followed by the First Vice President of the Government, Carmen Calvo, and Pablo Casado, treated in this 23-F as the true leader of the opposition.

The private meeting ended early, at 3.30 pm, because the two Chambers were holding plenary sessions. Before leaving the Congress of Deputies, already in the official car, a person approached Felipe VI to congratulate him on his “great speech, in form and in substance”:

– “And that of the president of Congress“said the King goodbye.

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