Spain recalls 1981 military coup attempt

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The Independent Online

Twenty-five years ago today, Spain's budding democracy came to a shuddering halt when rebellious civil guards, led by Lt-Col Antonio Tejero, stormed parliament and held deputies at gunpoint for almost 24 hours.

The attempted coup came six years after the death of General Francisco Franco, and was led by military officers nostalgic for the privileges they enjoyed for the 40 years of his dictatorship.

The siege only ended when it became clear that King Juan Carlos would not support the uprising.

Memories of that night were rekindled last month when a Spanish officer was dismissed for warning that the military would step in if the unity of the nation was threatened by greater autonomy for Catalonia.