Tuesday 17 October 2017

Catalonia bent law - King Felipe VI

People watch King Felipe’s televised statement on TV in downtown Barcelona. Photo: AP
People watch King Felipe’s televised statement on TV in downtown Barcelona. Photo: AP

Angela Navarro

Spain's King Felipe VI said Catalan authorities deliberately bent the law with "irresponsible conduct" and that the Spanish state needs to ensure constitutional order and the rule of law in Catalonia.

Delivering an address to the nation by television, the king said that the bid by authorities in the northeastern region to push ahead with independence had "undermined coexistence" in Catalonia.

"Today, Catalan society is fractured and confronted," he said, referring to the political crisis as "very serious moments for our democratic life." He said that the state needed to ensure Spain's constitutional order and the correct functioning of Catalan institutions and rule of law.

Spain's conservative government has said it will respond with "all necessary measures" to counter the Catalan defiance, and is holding talks with national opposition leaders to find multi-partisan consensus on the response, which could include suspending the region's self-government.

Unscheduled addresses by kings in Spain have not been common but both Felipe VI and his father, King Juan Carlos I, have delivered addresses in moments of high political tension or in the wake of terror attacks.

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