The Political Transition to Democracy in Spain and the Role of the Western European Countries: France, the Federal Republic of Germany and Great Britain (1970–1978)
Alberto Sabio Alcutén
This article analyzes the international dimension of the Spanish transition to democracy. Were the European powers – France, the Federal Republic of Germany and Great Britain – simple witnesses to the events in Spain or did they actively participate, and, if so, how? From consultation of archives from the various countries, it is now known that the governments and political parties of these countries were more closely involved than was previously thought. The Portuguese revolution in April 1974 raised the alarm and the Western chancelleries tried to prevent the same thing happening in Spain. They opted for the monarchical solution and for a “controlled” process to democracy, using the much-desired entry into the European Community to exert pressure. The need to feel “European” and “standardized” surfaced, especially in progressive circles, although not only there. Outside Europe there were more difficulties to do business and the most advanced sectors of the Spanish business world started to become aware of this.
transition to democracy, Spain, foreign policy, France, Britain, Federal Republic of Germany