The Parliament has voted in favor of opening a new committee tasked with investigating the Spanish monarchy, looking into potential “criminal or irregular” activities of the crown. The proposal was introduced by and passed with votes from the pro-independence parties Junts per Catalunya (Together For Catalonia), Esquerra Republicana (Republican Left), CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy), and the non-aligned coalition of Catalunya en Comú-Podem (Catalonia in Common-We Can), which favors self-determination. Unionist parties Ciutadans, Socialists, and People’s Party voted against investigating the crown.

The purpose of the committee will be to investigate the “criminal or irregular” activities of persons linked to the Spanish royal family, including those aimed at “forcing the transfer of the registered office of banks, large companies and multinationals outside Catalonia after the October 1 independence referendum”.

Attempts to dissolve monarchy

The move to look into the potential alleged criminal activity of the crown comes some months after the Catalan parliament tabled a motion to abolish the Spanish monarchy entirely following the role of the king in the independence bid. The central government responded to this by threatening “legal measures.”

In particular, the king was criticized in Catalonia for his speech two days after the independence referendum on October 1, 2017, which gave no mention to police violence on the day of the vote and made no call for dialogue.

In recent polls, the Spanish king received a low popularity score of 1.8/10 throughout Catalonia, while 60% of Catalans rated King Felipe VI with a score of 0. The attempt to dissolve the Spanish monarchy last October cited wishes to abolish “an outdated and anti-democratic institution.”