Christmas Message of Spain’s King Felipe Calls on Catalan Leaders to Avoid Confrontation

By Presidencia de la República Mexicana [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

King Felipe VI of Spain used his traditional Christmas Eve message to call on the newly elected parliament of Catalonia to renounce further actions towards secession after pro-independence parties claimed a narrow victory during the regional election that . last week.

In a televised speech, the Spanish monarch stated: “The way forward cannot once again lead to confrontation or exclusion that, as we now know, only generates discord, uncertainty, anguish.”

The king delivered the said address four days after the regional parliamentary elections resulted in the separatist parties being voted back into power.

Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister of Spain, had dissolved the previous parliament after it voted to declare Catalonia as an independent republic in October. However, he had his hopes smashed that separatists would not reacquire a majority of seats.

“2017 for Spain has been, without a doubt, a difficult year for our commonwealth, a year marked, above all, by the situation in Catalonia,” said King Felipe. “(Catalonia’s) leaders must face the problems that affect all Catalans, respecting their diversity and thinking responsibly in the common good.”

The last televised address of the king was on the 3rd of October, two days after the regional government of Catalonia disobeyed a court injunction and held a referendum regarding secession. The king firmly criticised the Catalan government as being disloyal.

On Sunday, his tone was more conciliatory when he recognised that while Spain had developed into a fully integrated member of the European Union, “not everything was a success” during the recent decades.

King Felipe insisted on the recovery of the “harmonious coexistence at the heart of Catalan society, in all its diversity,. so that ideas don’t divide or separate families and friends.”