Democracy: Spain's Moment for Reflection

By Purcell, Julius | New Statesman (1996), March 20, 2006 | Go to article overview

Democracy: Spain's Moment for Reflection


Purcell, Julius, New Statesman (1996)


Many MPs didn't notice the Civil Guards entering the parliament chamber that February day in Madrid, 25 years ago. The TV cameraman did. To the consternation of millions of Spaniards watching the event live, he zoomed on the moustachioed figure of Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero, entering with his band of armed rebels. "Everyone down, for fuck's sake," Tejero screamed, firing bullets into the ceiling. About 350 MPs hit the floor, and the camera shook. Almost half an hour later, a Civil Guard approached the cameraman: "Unplug the camera," he said in a matter-of-fact way, "or I will kill you."

This was a little after 6.30pm on 23 February 1981. For nearly seven long hours, until King Juan Carlos appeared on television to declare the coup illegal, newly democratic Spain lived through its worst post-Franco nightmare.

A quarter of a century on from "23-F", the experience is still fresh in many memories: from the millions who sat at home vainly searching for news, to those in the chamber itself. A young Socialist MP, Jose Bono, who in photos of the event is visible near the gun-wielding Tejero, awaited what most assumed would follow: executions of the Socialist opposition.

Today, Bono is Spain's defence minister. He was a key figure in an event this past January that highlights how prone the country still is to serious upsets in its democratic institutions. When, on 6 January, Lieutenant General Jose Mena hinted that it was the duty of the army to take action should the Catalans be successful in their attempts to secure more autonomy, the news spread well beyond Spain's borders. Bono acted swiftly, sacking the general. But the damage to Spain's image was significant.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

One theme linking the two events is Spain's old bugbear, Basque and Catalan separatism. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Democracy: Spain's Moment for Reflection
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.