INTRODUCTION: The rebel civil guards who took over the Spanish Parliament (the Cortes) on Monday (23 February) have surrendered.
GV Cortes with MPs seated, meeting in progress
GV Meeting continues, disrupted by shouting PAN TO front, where officer with hat (Tejero) takes up position, starts shouting,and wielding pistol
GV Vice president Mellado stands up, moves towards entrance, and is manhandled by guards entering chamber. Senor Suarez moves towards him (3 shots)
GV Tejero moves towards guards holding Mellado, and manhandles him
GV Struggling continues
GV Mellado returns to seat, guards stand at front of chamber
NOTE TO EDITORS: VISNEWS ALSO SERVICED ON TUESDAY, 24 FEBRUARY PRODUCTION NUMBER 1338/81 WHICH CONTAINS A NUMBER OF LATER DEVELOPMENTS IN THIS STORY.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The rebel civil guards who took over the Spanish Parliament (the Cortes) on Monday (23 February) have surrendered. After holding Spain's 300 parliamentary deputies hostage for 17 hours as part of an attempted coup, the guards were taken into custody. They were led by a 49-year old officer, Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero Molina, who had been arrested over a similar coup attempt two years ago. The guards were joined in Madrid by about eighty military police and some soldiers from an armoured division, but failed to win support from Spain's military commanders. In a tough speech, King Juan Carlos ordered the armed forces to crush the rebellion, and troops and police surrounded the parliament. Later, the joint chiefs-of-staff said the crisis had been favourably resolved, and that "nomality" had returned to Spain. The man reported to be behind the coup, Lieutenant General Jamie Milans del Bosch, had put the province of Valencia under a state of emergency, but after the King's speech he ordered his troops back to barracks.
SYNOPSIS: The MPs were voting to approve the new government to replace the outgoing administration of Adolfo Suarez when the trouble started.
Colonel Tejero, wearing the Civil Guard hat, menaced the deputies with shouts and a brandished pistol.
Spain's first vice president, General Manuel Gutierrez Mellado, stood up to protest, but met an incoming group of civil guards, who grabbed him. Senor Suarez leapt up to help him. The guards fired pistols and submachine guns towards the ceiling.
The vice president was later seized by Colonel Tejero, who had served one year under house arrest for his part in the earlier coup.
No-one was injured in the attempted coup, with damage seemingly confined to the bullet-spattered plaster ceiling. The guards stood over their captives and were to hold them throughout the night. Colonel Tejero ordered eight woman deputies freed. Final surrender became inevitable the following day when some of the rebels began to give themselves up, one by one.