Clarifying the Succession
For years, Spain´s favorito guessing game has centered on one question: Who
Generalissimo Francisco Franco? Since Franco, "Caudillo of Spain by the grace Of
God," had pledged to restore a constitutional monarchy, the choice centered on
the two surviving male members of Spain´s longdeposed royal family. Would it be
the Pretender, Don Juan de Borbón y Battenberg, 56, son of Spain´s last King,
Alfonso XIII, who dwells in self-imposed exile in Portugal? Or would it be bis
son, Prince Juan Carlos de Borbón y Borbón, 31, a sports-loving young man who
has been educated ín Spain and lives there now? Last week the Caudillo moved to
bring the guessing to an end by calling for a special session of the Cortes, at
which he intends to announce his choice. There is no doubt that it will be
Prince Juan Carlos.
Only Instrument. The odds have all along been with the Prince. Franco´s
relations with Don Juan are cool: the Caudillo has never forgiven the Pretender
for a 1945 statement that disapproved of Franco´s policies.
Don Juan has been considerably less critical since then, but has kept in cióse
touch with opposition circles in Spain from his court-in-exile at the Villa
Giralda in the Portuguese coastal resort of Estoril. Many Spaniards consider Don
Juan a modérate, even a liberal, who as constitutional monarch would probably
not go along with many authoritarian practices of the Franco era.
By contrast, his son, Prince Juan Carlos, is considered more tractable. Franco
has already carefully groomed him: the Prince holds commissions from the three
Spanish service academies, has spent considerable time studying government
firsthand in Madrid ministries, uves in a palace cióse to Franco´s, and often
spends his time with the Caudillo. Moreover, the Prince is quiet and relatively
withdrawn; many of his countrymen regard him with more curiosity than
Originally, Juan Carlos insisted that he would never accept the throne as long
as his father was alive. But last January, in an interview with Spain´s official
news agency, he remarked that he had come to lean toward "political legality."
The Prince meant he accepted the view that Franco was empowered under the
present constitutional frame- work to restore whomever he wished to Spain´s
throne. Until then, the Prince had shared his father´s belief that "dynastic
legality" musí be maintained and that the Borbón une must not be interrupted.
Commenting on the likelihood of Juan Carlos´ elevation this week, Monarchist
Mariano Robles, a lawyer and opponent of the Franco regime, declared: "It is
suicide for the monarchy. It is the beginning of the end. A dictator cannot ñame
a King. A King must succeed according to dynastic law.
Otherwise it is not a monarchy, it is just a political game."
Cancel ed Cruise. Don Juan´s followers would heartily agree with that. Word of
the impending Franco announcement reached the Pretender just as he was about to
leave on a Mediterranean vacation cruise. It was canceled ímmediaíely. "This
operation is being carried out without taking me into account, or the free will
of the Spanish people," Don Juan said in a statement. "I am therefore a
spectator to the decisions which will be taken on this matter, and I hold no
responsibility in this restoration." There was no mention of abdication. Said
one of his court officials: "Don Juan will not abdícate unless he is convinced
that this is the only way to save the monarchy." That could set the stage for a
showdown between father and son after Franco, now 76, steps down or dies.
Seeking Unity—Slowly They were all there, those aging statesmen who years ago
committed their dreams to the ideal of European unity. Jean Moanet, 80, ;the
father of the Common Market," last week convened a session of his nonofficial
Action Committee for a United States of Europe in Brussels. Former Common Market
President Walter Hallstein was there, along with veteran French Politicians
Antoine Pinay and Maurice Faure and dozens of other ranking European statesmen.
Together, they constitute a sort of European shadow government. They had come to
Brussels in an attempt to spur Common Market bureaucrats and íhe respective
ministers of the Six (Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and
West Germany) to start immediate negotiations to admit Britain to the economic
Even as Monnet and his supporters issued ringing calis for unity during their
session in the Charlemagne Building, over at the new Common Market headquarters
began the first ministerial meetings since the dethronement of Charles de
Gaulle. Would the oíd obstacles of yesteryear suddenly melt away? Hardly. The
six agriculture ministers started what seemed likely to turn into a marathón
discussion of the Common Market´s costly f arm-support issue. They got bogged
down in disputes about a unified support price for buíter and beef.
The finance and economics ministres of the Six did somewhat better. After
considering proposals from the Common Market´s Executive Commission for joint
economic planning and budgetary discipline to deal with overheated European
economies, the ministers agreed —in principie—to set up a unified monetary
mechanism. The details would have to be worked out later. Nevertheless, France´s
Finance Minister Valéry Giscard d´Estaing and West Germany´s Economics Minister
Karl Schiller called the agreement an important step. Giscard added, perhaps too
optimistically, that it was "the flrsí time we have monetary solidarity among
This week it will be the foreign ministers´ turn to meet in Brussels. The
overriding issue will be the question of British enlry into the Common Market.
The rest of the Six concur with Monnet´s proposal for immediate preparations.
But French President Georges Pompidou first wants to hold a surnmit of the Six.
perhaps in October, before sitting down with Britain. The French view is likely
So far, the main threat to Britain´s application seems to be the British
themselves. While Monnet was speaking at a press conference in Brussels about
the desirabih´ty of European political f ederation, former British Prime
Minister Sir Alee Douglas-Home glanced up from a crossword puzzle and told
newsmen that "we British are a practica! people. We want to confront a situation
first before we íhink abouí seíting up an institution to handle it." During the
same session, British Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart said that plans for a
European Parliament were "premature." Such statemenís made many Europeans wonder
whether the British are wüling to sacrifice some of their own sovereignty for a
united Europe. Dutch Foreign Minister Joseph Luns, a strong supporter of
Britain´s entry, last week warned that if they wanted only to particípate in a
loóse economic unión, "then the British will not become members."
Progress ín the North. Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, the Scandinavians were making
substantial progress toward creating their own economic aüiance. After two weeks
of final and freneíic discussions, represeníatives of Norway, Denmark, Sweden
and Finland emerged with a detailed blueprint for a Nordic Economic Community,
dubbed Nordek. The draft agreement must still be ratified by the respective
Scandinavian parliaments, and there were still difficult compromises to be
worked out —notably on dairy producís, meat and fisheries. Even so, the
consensus was that surprisingly good progress had been made.
Targeted by its drafters to go into operation Jan. 1, 1971, Nordek would unify
the Scandinavian economies if the road to Brussels should still be blocked. Or,
if membership negotiations were under way, it could serve as their joint
bargaining agent with the Common Market for a better deal.