Spain’s King Felipe has condemned the organisers of Catalonia’s disputed independence referendum, calling for unity.
In a rare national address, the Spanish monarch accused authorities in the region of “irresponsible conduct” and operating “outside the law”.
Describing the situation as extremely serious, Felipe said:“For some time, certain authorities in Catalonia have repeatedly, consciously and deliberately failed to comply with the constitution and its statute of autonomy, which is the law that recognizes and protects historical institutions and self-government. These decisions systematically violated the norms approved legally and legitimately, demonstrating an inadmissible disloyalty towards the powers of the State. Their irresponsible conduct could even put at risk the economic and social stability of Catalonia and all of Spain.’‘
The address followed more protests and strike action across Catalonia.
Some 300,000 people took to the streets of Barcelona on Tuesday, to rally against
police brutality during Sunday’s independence vote.
Nearly 900 people were hurt after security forces tried to prevent the ballot by storming polling stations. Madrid had branded the referendum illegal.