King Felipe said Catalan authorities have deliberately bent the law with their 'irresponsible conduct'
The Catalan authorities have deliberately bent the law with their "irresponsible conduct" and the state needs to ensure constitutional order and the rule of law, Spain's King Felipe VI has said.
He said the state needs to ensure constitutional order and the rule of law in Catalonia.
King Felipe spoke out as tens of thousands of people joined marches across Barcelona in protest against the Spanish government's actions over the region's independence vote.
Delivering an address to the nation by television, the king said that the bid by authorities in the north-eastern region to push ahead with independence has "undermined coexistence" in Catalonia.
"Today, Catalan society is fractured and confronted," Felipe said, referring to the political crisis as "very serious moments for our democratic life".
He said the state needs 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.
It is holding talks with national opposition leaders to try to find consensus on the response, which could include suspending the region's self-government.