Spain’s king calls on Catalonias in his Christmas speech
King Felipe VI used his traditional Christmas Eve address on Sunday night to call on Catalonia's newly elected parliament to renounce any further moves toward splitting from Spain.
“The way forward cannot once again lead to confrontation or exclusion that, as we now know, only generates discord, uncertainty, anguish,” Felipe VI said in his televised speech.
The king was speaking from the Zarzuela Palace just four days after the Catalonian regional elections resulted in separatist parties being voted back into power.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had dissolved the previous Catalan parliament after the October 1st vote to declare Catalonia an independent republic, but lost the gamble that the separatists would not gain control of a majority of seats in a December election.
“2017 for Spain has been, without a doubt, a difficult year for our commonwealth, a year marked, above all, by the situation in Catalonia,” Felipe said, “leaders must face the problems that affect all Catalans, respecting their diversity and thinking responsibly in the common good.”
His tone was marginally conciliatory when he recognised that, while Spain had grown into a fully integrated member of the European Union, “not everything was a success” in recent decades.
Filpe VI insisted on recovering the “harmonious coexistence at the heart of Catalan society, in all its diversity, so that ideas don’t divide or separate families and friends.”
“The road can not lead again to confrontation or exclusion, which – as we all know – only generates discord, uncertainty, discouragement and moral, civic and, of course, economic impoverishment of a whole society,” said Felipe in his fourth Christmas speech since becoming the King of Spain.
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