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Spain's king addresses Catalonia in Christmas Eve speech

By Associated Press 25/12/2017
Spanish King Felipe VI delivers his Christmas Eve message at the Royal Palace in Madrid on December 24. Photo: AFP pool
Spanish King Felipe VI delivers his Christmas Eve message at the Royal Palace in Madrid on December 24. Photo: AFP pool

MADRID, Spain — King Felipe VI used his traditional Christmas Eve address Sunday night to call on Catalonia's newly elected parliament to renounce further moves toward secession from Spain.

"The way forward cannot once again lead to confrontation or exclusion that, as we now know, only generates discord, uncertainty, anguish," the Spanish monarch said in a televised speech.

The king gave the address four days after regional parliamentary elections resulted in separatist parties being voted back into power. Spain's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, had dissolved the previous parliament after it voted in October to declare Catalonia an independent republic, but saw his hopes dashed that separatists would not regain 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," Felipe said. "(Catalonia's) leaders must face the problems that affect all Catalans, respecting their diversity and thinking responsibly in the common good."

The king's last televised address was on Oct. 3, two days after Catalonia's regional government disobeyed a court injunction and held a referendum on secession. The king harshly criticized the Catalan government as disloyal.

His tone was more conciliatory on Sunday, when he recognized that while Spain had grown into a fully integrated member of the European Union, "not everything was a success" in recent decades.

He 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."


Richard | 25/12/2017
Maybe PM Abadi could take a leaf out of his book and be a bit more conciliatory, humble and understanding about the current situation in Iraq!
The Rider | 25/12/2017
Unfortunately the Catalan population is very heterogeous and is not unanimous anyway on the aindependence issue.The Catalans have their own language and institutions and they enjoy a better economy than the average of Spain. Historically Catalonya was a disputed land between Spain and France with the latter still possesing large Catalan territories .At some point Catalonya has suffered repression and massacres at the Castillian hands.Allway there have been some intents to separate from Spain and become independent, failing at every intent.The successive Spanish governments have always sided with the repressive states who occupy Kurdistan out of the fear that the Kurdish independence might encourage Catalans and Basques to separate from Spain.Spain has a terrible colonial past and it has released its colonies in Europe,America and Africa but it still refuses to release Catalonya,Vascongada and two tiny enclaves it holds in North Africa .Spain ,however, intends to take back Gibraltar which is under British control.The Canarian islands are now fully assimilated .Spain ,like other states , is build upon militar might and reression not on natural and genuine belonging.Look into the history of France,for example,and you will see how many natural nations have been integrated and assimilated into France by the brute force of killings and repression.Many languages and nations have desappeared in France.Spain contains many small nations living in very beutiful lands that could and should separate forming free and independent countries free from the Spanish chauvinisist domination. No nations should remain enslaved by other nations.
Mohamedzzz | 27/12/2017
For Catalans conciliation means: Spain to get out of invaded Catalan land by Castillans so they can build their Republic of Catalonia.

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