The King of Spain has called for a firm stance to be taken against corruption in his country.
It is the first time Felipe VI has spoken in front of lawmakers, senators and state officials since his coronation two years ago.
He was declared king in June 2014 after his father, Juan Carlos the First, abdicated.
In an unusually-blunt speech, Felipe described corruption as “a plague that must be conquered” and emphasised the need for “moral regeneration in public life”.
“The fight must continue against the corruption which has outraged public opinion across our country. It must become no more than a bad memory.”
An end to months of political paralysis
The ceremony officially ended ten months of political paralysis in Spain.
The conservative Mariano Rajoy is in the role of prime minister, but without a majority in parliament.
The monarch emphasised the need for dialogue to reach agreements.
“The Spanish people have shown maturity, common sense and resposibility during the last few years, particularly during the economic crisis.”
“We are calling for dignity to be restored in public life and respect to be given back to our institutions.”
Differences already apparent
Two independent parties – basque and catalan – boycotted the ceremony.
The anti-austerity Podemos, now the third-largest political force in the country, announced that they would listen to the King’s speech.
However, they refused to salute or take part in the associated military parade.
Members of the Izquierda Unida (United Left) stayed in their seats during the national anthem.