IN a rare televised message to the nation, Spain’s King Felipe VI has said the Catalan leaders have ‘broken the laws of the state’ and shown an “inadmissible lack of loyalty” to Spain over Sunday’s referendum.
Earlier today the king met Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy discuss the situation in Cataluña where hundreds of people were hurt as the National Police and Guardia Civil tried to prevent an illegal vote on independence in the region.
Speaking tonight he said, “The situation has become very serious for our democratic life and this is the reason I have decided to speak to all Spanish citizens about what happened in Cataluña.
“For a long time some entities in Catalonia have not followed the constituion or the law of this country which sets out the way this country is governed.
“This shows a lack of loyalty to the Government of this country.
“They have broken with the principles of democracy that every nation state adheres to. This could put the security and stability at risk.”
Speaking to the people of Cataluña he said, “We all live in a democratic state and we must respect the law and constitution.”
He called for ‘hope and calmness ‘and said the country would overcome the problems as the principles of democracy are strong and solid.
But Cataluña’s President Carles Puigdemont, speaking in a BBC interview shortly before the king’s speech, said his government would declare independence ‘at the end of this week or the beginning of next’.
When asked what he would do if the Spanish government were to intervene and take control of Catalonia’s government, Mr Puigdemont said it would be “an error which changes everything”.
Please be patient – the King’s speech starts about three minutes into the video – and his message to the nation is translated into English.