New PM’s swearing-in ceremony prompts question: just how secular is Spain?

Source: El Pais

On Saturday, Pedro Sánchez became the seventh head of government in modern Spanish democracy to take the oath of office, and the first one to do so with no religious symbols present.

The absence of a Bible and crucifix did not go unnoticed, although some observers wondered why this should be an issue at all, given that Spain is a secular state.

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Sánchez’s swearing-in ceremony with no religious symbols. We are entering the 21st century. SER journalist Pepa Bueno

The role of the Roman Catholic Church in Spain is the subject of periodic debates. Either it’s because of a Catholic Mass that gets aired by the state broadcaster TVE, or because of the income tax return, where taxpayers can check a box allotting a certain amount of money to the Church, or because of the role of religion in schools that are partially funded by the state, or because of the official holidays, which are tied to Catholic celebrations.

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