Wide Angle

Catalan Referendum : King Felipe VI calls for the unity and national sovereignty of Spain

Two days after the Catalan independence referendum, King Felipe VI of Spain accused the regional government of Catalonia of «violating the constitution» of the country and undermining «the harmony and coexistence in the Catalan society». On the other side of the Meditteranean, the king’s speech was welcomed by Moroccan officials as he insisted on unity and national sovereignty.

King Felipe VI of Spain during a speech delivered on 3rd of October./Ph. DR
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King Felipe has finally reacted to the Catalan independence referendum, through a speech that he delivered yesterday. The king addressed the Catalan authorities and leaders, accusing them of putting themselves «outside the law» and criticizing their «inadmissible disloyalty» to Spain. The Spanish monarch also described the referendum that took place on the 1st of October as «illegal».

Via his rare emergency speech, king Felipe urged the Spanish citizens to «ensure the constitutional order». He also insisted that the ones who voted for the Catalan independence «have broken the democratic principles of all rule of law and undermined the harmony and coexistence in Catalan society itself».

He also added saying : «They had tried to break the unity of Spain and the national sovereignty, which is the right of all Spaniards to decide democratically together». The Spanish king did not miss the chance to reassure Spain indicating that it «will overcome these difficult moments» and that Catalonia «is not alone».

Did Felipe VI forget about his speech at the UN General Assembly in September 2016 ?

The Catalan independence referendum is an event that would affect the stability of Spain, and King Felipe is aware of its consequences. The Basque Country, Galicia and Aragon could follow the example of Catalonia. The rise of extreme left, and pro-Republic politicians to the political scene has largely contributed to the emergence of ultra-nationalist currents in the country.

However, the king wanted to be reassuring about the unity of the country, inviting Spaniards to «be quiet» on the future and the unity of his kingdom. Felipe VI, on the other hand, ignored the insisting interventions against Catalans who demanded the right to vote on October the 1st . Reportedly «the King’s intervention followed a day of chaotic scenes as a general strike brought Catalonia to a standstill and tensions on the ground continued to rise», said the Telegraph. On the 1st of October, Catalans were met by police violence, which will be examined by the European Parliament.

The speech of the Spanish king was welcomed by the Moroccan officials. The king has always been a great supporter of the self-determination of the «people of Western Sahara». He completely contradicted his 2016 speech at the United Nations General Assembly where he openly defended the Polisario.

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