The Spanish Constitution is 43 years old this December 6. More than four decades of life in which our country has been completely transformed. That rainy December 6, 1978, millions of Spaniards voted affirmatively for a constitutional text that they had been waiting for years.
The Magna Carta was approved by the Cortes Generales in plenary sessions of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate held on October 31, 1978. In Congress the results of the vote were as follows: 325 in favor, 6 against and 15 abstentions. In the Senate, of 239 assistants, they voted in favor, 226; against, 5 and abstentions were 8.
It was ratified by the Spanish people in a referendum on December 6, 1978 with 88.4% affirmative votes and sanctioned by His Majesty King Juan Carlos before the Cortes on December 27 of that same year.
The Spanish Constitution, a preamble and 169 articles divided into a preliminary title and ten numbered titles. In addition, it contains four additional provisions, nine transitory, one repeal, and one final.
Who were the fathers of the Spanish Constitution?
The process of creating the new Magna Carta was carried out by the so-called seven fathers of the Constitution. Although they belonged to different parties and their ideologies were different, they sought the common good to arrive at a framework of coexistence for all Spaniards.
The seven speakers were: Gabriel Cisneros Laborda, Miguel Herrero and Rodríguez de Miñón and José Pedro Pérez-Llorca Rodrigo by the Union of the Democratic Center (UCD); Gregorio Peces-Barba by the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE); Jordi Solé Tura by the Communist Party of Spain (PCE); Manuel Fraga Iribarne by Alianza Popular (AP); and Miquel Roca i Junyent by Catalan Minority.
The Preamble to the Magna Carta was drawn up by Enrique Tierno Galván, known as the old professor and mayor of Madrid from 1979 until his death in 1986. The constitutional text was corrected by Camilo José Cela, one of the most prestigious authors of Spanish letters and Nobel Prize in Literature in 1989.
How many times has it been reformed?
It has been reformed twice. In 1992, to add “And passive” to article 13.2 of the constitutional text. This modification was necessary so that our country could sign the Maastricht Treaty.
The TEU stipulates that citizens of the European Union residing in another Member State have the right to “be a voter and eligible in the municipal elections of the Member State in which they reside“Our Constitution, until the moment of modification, allowed active suffrage but not passive suffrage.
The second reform, something more controversial, came in 2011 when the text of article 135 was modified to give priority to the payment of public debt in the budgets, that is, to adapt to the principle of budgetary stability.
It is the second oldest constitutional text in our history
It is the second oldest constitutional text in the history of our country after the Magna Carta of 1876, which lasted 47 years, until 1923. The shortest was 1812, known as ‘La Pepa’, which only lasted two years.
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Spanish Constitution: when was it approved, who are the parents of the text and how was the vote?