Spanish Defence minister asks for inquiry into retired officers who called for 'firing squads'

Margarita Robles last week.
Margarita Robles last week. / EFE
  • The far-right views expressed in a private phone-chat group led to angry exchanges in parliament

The Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, has asked for State prosecutors to look at the content of an incendiary phone-message chat among some retired Spanish air force officers.

Controversy built last week after it emerged that the private message group had been discussing "coups" and "firing squads". The Ministry wants to see if those in the chat have committed any sort of offence and says that the chats, "carry views totally against the constitutional order, making veiled mentions of a military uprising".

The messages were revealed by the Infolibre website and were reportedly written by the retired military men, all over 70. Some members have come forward to distance themselves from the content.

The messages criticise the current government and mention the need to carry out "uprisings" due to political drift.

One of the group members is a general, who Infolibre named as Francisco Beca and who professed his wish to "shoot 26 million sons of a bitch" opposed to his ideology.

"Spain is full of ungovernable people and the only way is to make them more cultured, something that's impossible with the left," one message reportedly said.

There were fierce arguments between Socialist MPs and hard-right Vox in parliament, with the latter citing similar incendiary comments in the past on the left.

The conservative PP said that the comments did not reflect the modern armed forces.