INTRODUCTION: An attempted military coup in Spain ended peacefully on Tuesday (24 February).
GV EXT Spanish Security Forces outside Parliament in Madrid.
GV INT Rebel civil guard keeping Parliament under siege. (2 SHOTS)
SV King Juan Carlos speaking.
GV EXT Women deputies being released. (2 SHOTS)
GV Troops climbing out of window.
SV Lt. Colonel Antonio Tejero Molina chatting.
SV Deputies being released TO cheering crowd. (3 SHOTS)
GV PAINT Empty seats in parliament.
PART EUROVISION TELERECORDING
NOTE TO EDITORS: VISNEWS ALSO SERVICED ON TUESDAY, 24 FEBRUARY PRODUCTION NUMBER 1331/81 ON THIS STORY.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: An attempted military coup in Spain ended peacefully on Tuesday (24 February). After 18 hours of holding the Spanish parliament at gunpoint, rebel civil guards leader Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero Molina surrendered and more than 300 deputies were released unharmed.
SYNOPSIS: Spain's regular security forces kept a tight watch on the Cortes (Parliament). King Juan Carlos ordered the forces in place soon after the rebel civil guard inside parliament took the deputies hostage.
Much of the credit for a peaceful end to the siege went to the King. As Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces he appealed for calm and ordered his joint chiefs of staff and the civil authorities to uphold Spain's democratic constitution.
Then after a tense night came the first signs of the siege ending. The rebels released the women deputies. One of the women said she was very disturbed her male colleagues were still held at gunpoint, but they had insisted the women leave to tell their families what was happening.
Reports leaked from the Cortes that morale among the rebels was crumbling. Some of the younger guards climbed out through windows. They said they had no idea they would be taking part in an attempt to seize parliament.
Rebel leader, Colonel Tejero Molina was seen in the morning chatting to other officers before he gave himself up. Then a cheering crowd outside parliament embraced the deputies, visibly relieved after their 18-hour hostage ordeal. The crowd chanted "liberty, liberty" and "long live the constitution". Later the joint chiefs of staff issued a statement saying the attack on parliament had been favourably resolved and that normality reigned in Spain.
After the severest attack on Spain's young parliamentary constitution the Cortex stood empty, but King Juan Carlos had won a significant victory.