King Felipe makes rare intervention into Spanish politics and accuses Catalan leaders of dividing society
Spain’s King Felipe has accused Catalan leaders of shattering democratic principles and causing division.
In a rare national address, the Spanish monarch condemned the organisers of Sunday’s independence referendum.
“We have all been witness to the events that have happened in Catalonia, with the Catalan Government’s final goal of illegally proclaiming the independence of Catalonia[…]They have sought to shatter the unity of Spain and national sovereignty, which is the right of all Spaniards to decide democratically on their life together.[…] It is the responsibility of the legitimate powers of the state to ensure constitutional order and the normal functioning of our institutions, the validity of the state of law and self-government in Catalonia.”
Tonight’s Spain’s king Felipe VI speech in a few bullet points pic.twitter.com/OFxvu0tXHl— Pablo Rodríguez (@Suanzes) October 3, 2017
Catalonia’s leader Carles Puigdemont, speaking before the king’s address has insisted an independence declaration will be made within a matter of days.
In an interview with the BBC, he said if the Spanish government were to intervene and take control of Catalonia’s government it would be “ an error which changes everything”.
Pro-secessionist parties who control the region staged Sunday’s referendum in defiance of Spain’s constitutional court.
The the vote together with the violence used by National Police officers to try and prevent the referendum from being carried out, has triggered Spain’s worst crisis since the country became a democracy.
After that speech from King Felipe, we can expect very firm action from the Spanish government to move to stop Puigdemont and separatists.— Matthew Bennett (@matthewbennett) October 3, 2017
PSOE, PP & Ciudadanos support King Felipe’s speech. Podemos’ Iglesias says “not in our name”.#Catalonia#Spain— Yannis Koutsomitis (@YanniKouts) October 3, 2017