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Congress refuses to penalize the king's insults after the Strasbourg ruling

PP, PSOE and citizens do not support the initiative of ERC to repeal several articles of the Penal code

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Congress refuses to penalize the king's insults after the Strasbourg ruling

The decision of European Court of Human Rights to condemn Spain for imposing a 15-month prison sentence on two demonstrators who burned in Girona in 2007 a giant photo of Kings was very timely this Tuesday to Esquerra Republican de Catalunya ( ERC), though not effective. The Congress has rejected its proposal of law to repeal articles of Penal code in which crime of slander or insult to members of King's House is punished with imprisonment, as well as fines for offenses or outrages to Spain , ir autonomous communities or ir symbols or emblems.

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The echo thundering of ruling has fuelled debate on ERC proposal, but votes against PP, PSOE and citizens have prevented it from thriving. The spokesman of PSOE in Congress, Margarita Robles, advanced before plenary that Socialist deputies would vote against proposal of law of ERC to decriminalise insults to Crown and outrages to Spain. According to PSOE, ERC initiative seeks to decriminalise a series of behaviors that "go far beyond freedom of expression and enter realm of institutional respect." The spokesperson marked differences between ERC initiative and Strasbourg court ruling.

The defense of initiative has been borne by Gabriel Ruffian. It brought "a very cool speech" full of reproaches to government for what he considers "insults to Farland" (to pay with public money rescue of banks or compensation to companies promoter of warehouse of gas Castor), but present time made that it had to Change. "I bring you something better," he underlined, "a judgement" by Strasbourg court that rejects government's objections to burning of photos of king and penalty for "facts that are an expression of political critique."

Ruffian has not recalled in appeals to PSOE to save his proposal. "We wait for best PSOE", has placed without success. On or hand, it has tended to support a large part of joint group, with withdrawal of expressions from president, Ana Pastor. Also of PNV, which has already positioned itself in favour of similar initiatives for sake of freedom of expression. "It is not a debate about monarchy or symbols but about democracy," said Mikel Legarda. And, of course, we can, which has considered that it has pointed out that Strasbourg sentence throws "serious doubts" on aspects of Spanish legislation that "imposes a kind of state of exception" against freedom of expression.

On or side, citizens have been placed, PSOE and PP. Citizens have reproached ERC for an initiative to "legislate for ir own benefit". "They want to decriminalise actions that you are starring," José Manuel Villegas criticized. The PSOE has argued that criticism of king is not penalized in Spain and that what was pretended by ERC was not to decriminalise political criticism "but insult and slander by presenting m as an expression of freedom". The PP has reduced initiative to "a esperpento cheerfully supported by some Democratic forces."


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