In unison and under proclamations in favor of the Republic and for a society without privileges, several public officials in the Balearic Islands have rejected the invitation of the Royal Family to attend the traditional dinner that King Felipe VI and King Letizia will offer next Thursday , starting at 9:00 p.m., to the authorities of the islands and to a representation of the Balearic society in Marivent. The palace will witness this event for the first time, usually held in l’Almudaina. It is not the first time that Balearic authorities and entities have stood up for the king.
Whitewash the king emeritus
“That in the XXI century some want us to pay homage to a head of state, elected by fertilization, is shameful and says a lot about our democracy. More embarrassing to recognize a man whose father has not yet given explanations of his shenanigans. Of course I will not attend”, the Minister of Mobility and Infrastructure of the Consell de Mallorca, Iván Sevillano (Podem), has stated on his Twitter account.
Along the same lines, the vice president of the island institution and Minister of Sustainability and the Environment, Aurora Ribot (Podem), has indicated that she will not attend the reception with Felipe VI because “we say ‘no’ to corruption. Because the citizenry deserves an investigation into King Juan Carlos. Because we want Marivent for the people of Mallorca. Because we want to choose. Because we are Republicans.
The councilor of the City Model, Decent Housing and Sustainability of Palma, Neus Truyol (Més per Mallorca), has also declined the invitation from the Royal House due to her “deep republican conviction”. “A head of state chosen by genetics and not by popular will is not acceptable. We work for a society without privileges. Marivent for the people”, he remarked.
For her part, the spokeswoman for United We Can in the Consell, Magdalena Gelabert, has spoken in the same vein: “Given the anachronism, impunity and the corrupt structure that the monarchy represents, on the 4th you will not find me at the reception of the Royal House. Admitting that being a king comes from birth is the same as admitting that being poor also comes from birth. Health and republic”.
“From my political and personal aspiration to dissolve the monarchy, an anachronism incompatible with a modern and democratic State, I have declined the invitation of the Royal House”, announced early this Friday, for his part, the insular Minister of Economic Promotion and Local Development, Jaume Alzamora (Més per Mallorca).
The king, on vacation on the island
Felipe VI has kicked off his vacation in Mallorca, where this Friday he has received, at the Palau de l’Almudaina, the main regional and local authorities to address current social and economic issues. While some 200 people gathered abroad in support of the Monarchy with cries of “Long live the king!”, this Thursday the 238th edition of the traditional ‘Cantada per la Llibertat’ was celebrated with proclamations of “squatters out of Marivent”, thus initiating a whole set of actions with which, over the next few days, its organizers will show their rejection of the presence of the king and queen on the island, as well as their request that the Marivent Palace be returned to the Balearic society.
Coinciding also with the visit to the Balearic capital, this Thursday, of the Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory, Félix Bolaños, the Amics de la Casa del Poble platform and the Recuperem Marivent association have called for a Democratic Memory Law that serves “to repair the evil that has been done and to strengthen democratic values”, in addition to remembering that Marivent was donated to turn it into a public museum: “The dictatorship ceded it, in 1973, to the princes of Spain and it has not yet been Returned”.
This morning, Felipe VI, who will remain in Mallorca until August 6, began his traditional round of meetings with the authorities of the islands. During his meeting with the President of the Government, Francina Armengol, she thanked him for his “closeness and interest” in the Balearic Islands during the COVID pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis. After the reception, the head of the regional government extolled the monarch’s “concern” for the economic recovery of the archipelago and, in statements to the media, stressed that the king is “perfectly aware of the reality” of the islands, whose revival has been held despite the “difficult situation of inflation and the terrible war of Russia against Ukraine”.
During the meeting, both have highlighted that this recovery is “closely linked” to the tourism industry, for which Armengol has taken the opportunity to explain to the monarch the details related to the Balearic Tourism Law, as well as the management of European funds “as an opportunity as an improvement of our economic model”.
Throughout the morning, Felipe VI also spoke with the President of the Parliament, Vicenç Thomàs, who underlined that the King is a “well-informed person” and that he “asks for an opinion” on the different issues that affect current affairs in order to being able to “modulate his own”, while celebrating his coming to Palma to spend his holidays: “I have grown up seeing how the king and queen come to the Balearic Islands and it is a source of satisfaction that they come here because they have helped a lot to promote the islands, especially Majorca”.
In the same way, the mayor of Palma, José Hila, has transferred to Felipe VI “the priority” that, as the first mayor of the Balearic capital, has for him the problem of housing, betting “at all levels” on “laws and budgets to face the difficulty of residents to access housing”.
Queen Letizia is expected to start her Mallorcan agenda this Sunday, when she will close the 12th edition of the Atlàntida Mallorca Film Fest. Over the next few days, Felipe VI will go to the Palma Yacht Club, where he will embark on the Navy sailboat, the Aifos 500, with which he will compete in the King Mapfre Cup for sailing in the waters of the bay. It is also expected that he will hold an office with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, next Tuesday.
The controversy with Marivent
The presence of the king and queen in Mallorca is usually accompanied, every summer, by reactions of rejection by a sector that criticizes the Royal Family for continuing to use the Marivent Palace, built between 1923 and 1925 by the architect Guillem Forteza Pinya on request of the Greek-born painter Ioannes Saridakis, who lived there until his death.
In 1966, Saridakis’s widow, Anunciación Marconi Taffani, ceded the building and the land to the Balearic Provincial Council on the condition that it become a museum bearing the painter’s name and remain open to the public. Such conditions were fulfilled until, in 1973, the Diputación ceded the estate to the then princes of Spain, Juan Carlos and Sofía, so that they could spend the summer there. The decision caused the descendants of Saridakis to take the Diputación to court for non-compliance with the transfer conditions and thus be able to recover the movable property inside the farm belonging to his family. The estate, however, continued to be used by the King and Queen for their summer stay.
“Marivent has never been the house of the Kings,” Manel Domènech, spokesperson for Arruix Borbons, one of the most active entities when it comes to claiming the recovery of the estate for public use, asserts in statements to elDiario.es. The activist affirms that Marivent is not only “the strict Palace of Marivent, there are numerous independent pavilions. Each of the sons has a pavilion; there is the guest room, the service room, the security room… And all so that the queen emeritus comes to console herself with her sister? For one week a year? Because now they don’t even go to Easter mass, ”he adds.
Meanwhile, MÉS per Mallorca, government partner of PSIB and Podemos in the Balearic Islands, registered this Thursday in the Parliament a Proposal Not of Law to recover Marivent, among other demands such as increasing the control of the accounts of the Royal House or decriminalizing crimes of insults and calumnies against the monarchy. “The visit of the king and queen of Spain to Mallorca is, year after year, an attempt to wash the face of an archaic institution, nowadays absolutely outdated, far from the citizenry and in recent times very spoiled by the continuous public scandals which the monarchy has been subjected to”, underlines deputy Joan Mas ‘Collet’.
Regarding the Marivent Palace, Mas considers it “obvious and fair” that the management and use of the estate “return to the institutions of the Balearic Islands”. “When in 1966 the widow of Saridakis gave the Palace to the Provincial Council of Mallorca, she did so under one condition and that was that the Palace be an open museum and, exceptionally, could be used as a residence for foreign heads of state. Justice has already agreed with the Saridakis family and, therefore, the Royal Family irregularly occupies the Marivent estate”, emphasizes, for his part, the coordinator of MÉS per Mallorca, Lluís Apesteguia.
For this reason, it asserts that, in order to repair the situation and “comply with the will of the Saridakis, the Royal Family must return the use of the estate and the Marivent Palace to the island institutions.”
The agenda of the kings in Mallorca
In addition to the ‘cantada per la Llibertat’ held this Thursday in the Plaza de Cort in Palma, other protest actions are expected to be carried out in the coming days, coinciding with the acts included in the agenda of the king and queen. Specifically, on August 2 the traditional summer office between Sánchez and Felipe VI will take place, although in a different scenario from the traditional one: to take refuge in the Marivent Palace, where it has traditionally been held since the reign of Juan Carlos I , will take place at the Palau de L’Almudaina.
Therefore, the Government will advance to next Monday the weekly Council of Ministers that is usually held on Tuesdays. This will also be the last meeting of the members of the Executive before the summer holidays.
The King’s agenda for next week will be completed with other acts, both alone and with Queen Letizia and her daughters, the Princess of Asturias, Leonor de Borbón, and the Infanta Sofía. On Monday, all of them will visit the Cartuja de Valldemossa while on Thursday, at 9:00 p.m., the monarch, together with the queen, will celebrate the reception of the Balearic authorities and a representation of Balearic society in Marivent, where for the first time the traditional dinner will take place.