Nearly 50 lawmakers who advocate for their regions to become independent from Spain boycotted Monday's ceremonial opening of the nation's legislative season over the presence of the royal family.
The representatives of five parties from the Catalonia, Basque Country and Galicia regions, all in northern Spain, say that the figure of the king is “anachronistic” and that it should be rooted out of Spanish politics.
Their symbolic gesture of not attending the first session of the national parliament since a new left-wing government was sworn in last month exposes the difficulties that Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez faces in the coming months.
His coalition with the far-left United We Can (Podemos) party will need votes from the separatist parties to pass the nation's 2020 spending plan and any significant legislation. Sanchez's Socialists have been supportive of King Felipe VI and the former monarch, King Emerit Juan Carlos I.