Today we are enjoying a holiday and we don’t have to go to school, but why? Here is the reason:
The Spanish Constitution is the fundamental law of the Kingdom of Spain. It was enacted on foot of the 1978 referendum, as part of the Spanish transition to democracy. It was preceded by many previous constitutions of Spain.
The constitutional history of Spain dates back to the Constitution of 1812. After the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, a general election in 1977 convened the Constituent Cortes (the Spanish Parliament, in its capacity as a constitutional assembly) for the purpose of drafting and approving the constitution.
A seven-member panel was selected among the elected members of the Cortes to work on a draft of the Constitution to be submitted to the body. These came to be known, as the media put it, as the padres de la Constitución or “fathers of the Constitution”. These seven people were chosen to represent the wide (and often, deeply divided) political spectrum within the Spanish Parliament, while the leading role was given to then ruling party and now defunct Unión de Centro Democrático (UCD).
- Gabriel Cisneros (UCD)
- José Pedro Pérez-Llorca (UCD)
- Miguel Herrero y Rodríguez de Miñón (UCD)
- Miquel Roca i Junyent es:Miquel Roca (Convergència i Unió)
- Manuel Fraga Iribarne (Alianza Popular)
- Gregorio Peces-Barba (PSOE)
- Jordi Solé Tura (PSUC)
The constitution was approved by the Cortes Generales on October 31, 1978, and by the Spanish people in a referendum on December 6, 1978. 88% of voters supported the new constitution. Finally, it was promulgated by King Juan Carlos on December 27. It came into effect on December 29, the day it was published in the Official Gazette. Constitution Day on December 6 has since been a national holiday in Spain.
Writing the preamble to the constitution was considered an honour, and a task requiring great literary ability. The person chosen for this purpose was Enrique Tierno Galván. The full text of the preamble may be translated as follows:
The Spanish Constitution is one of the few Bill of Rights that has legal provisions for social rights, including the definition of Spain itself as a Social and Democratic State, subject to the rule of law (Sp. Estado social y democrático de derecho) in its preliminary title. However, those rights are not at the same level of protection as the individual rights contained in articles 14 to 28, since those social rights are considered in fact principles and directives of economic policy, but never full rights of the citizens to be claimed before a court or tribunal.
Other constitutional provisions recognize the right to adequate housing, employment, social welfare provision, health protection and pensions.
Due to the political strength of the Communist Party of Spain during the Transition, the right to State intervention in private companies in the public interest and the facilitation of access by workers to ownership of the means of production were also enshrined in the Constitution.
Enjoy the holiday and click on the following link if you want to read our Constitution.
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