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Catalonia’s Girona City Council declared Spanish King Felipe VI persona non grata

Yesterday, Girona City Council in Catalonia, Spain, declared His Majesty King Felipe VI as a persona non grata due to his criticism of the independence referendum held in the region on 1 October.

The King was not alone in being declared a persona non grata as Enric Millo, the Spanish government’s representative in Catalonia, was as well.

At the beginning of the month, the Catalonian region held an independence referendum with a 90% turnout of the 2.2 million citizens. However, the Spanish government in Madrid called the vote illegal, and violent clashes took place throughout the area on the day of the vote.

The Spanish government invoked Article 155 of Spain’s constitution not long after, which can suspend the autonomy of Catalonia. Additionally, the government of Catalonia was suspended, and the authorities in Madrid have ordered a snap election for the regional parliament. These are moves that are supported by King Felipe.

His Majesty gave a rare televised speech two days after the referendum where he criticised Catalonian separatists and vowed: “to defend the unity of Spain.” He also called their behaviour irresponsible and that they had broken the law with their vote. The vote ordered by the separatists, he criticised, was a “total disregard for democracy.”

After this speech, the Catalan party Popular Unity Candidacy proposed that the authorities in Barcelona declare the King and all members of the Spanish Royal Family as personae non-gratae. The Barcelona City Council declined.

Oriol Junqueras, the Vice President of Catalonia, said that the actions of the Spanish federal government had given the region “no other option” but to go ahead with declaring their independence. He told the Associated Press that the independence coalition is “going to work toward building a republic because we understand that there is a democratic mandate to establish such a republic.”

  • herman jr.

    The rebels and traitors have gone far enough, When will the government of Spain develop some backbone and bring them to heel?……they need a Franco 2.0 now more than ever

    • fluffnik

      They need their Republic back!

  • LordFarquaad

    “90% turnout of the 2.2 million citizens”

    This is complete rubbish.

  • The Fact

    The principle of self-determination is prominently embodied in Article I of the Charter of the United Nations. … All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development

    • Guy Stair Sainty

      Why should a region of any democratic country have a right to secede? It was the decision of the Confederate States to secede from the Union to protect their economic interests in 1861. The Catalonians are motivated by selfishness and greed because they do not want to contribute to the less prosperous regions of their country. Is this ever a justification for a national region to demand independence? Catalonia was never a nation state (unlike Scotland, for example) and has been part of United Spain for some 500 years – Germany and Italy have only been nation states for less than 150 years – should Bavaria, or Lombardy, respectively the two wealthiest regions be entitled to demand independence? Bavaria was a sovereign state until 1870 and even after that had its own foreign policy and diplomatic service. The Catalan nationalists are led by power hungry demagogues who care nothing for the people.

      • fluffnik

        That they want to exercise their human right to self determination is reason enough.

        They have more legitimacy than the monarchy foisted on Spain by Franco, who violently overthrew that legitimate Republic with the aid of the Nazis.

      • Alicia

        “Led by power hungry demagogues”? How many Catalans have you talked to? How many books and essay have you read about the Catalan issue? You’re voicing the demagoguery of the central government who has maligned our community for decades. Please, check how many times the Generalitat has tried to pass forward-thinking policies (about immigration, the poor, bullfighting) so Madrid could turn them down.

        The monarchy is also a tragic joke. Franco commands an army against the democratically-elected government, plunges the country into a civil war, and rules as a dictator for almost 40 years. He decides to bring back the grandson of the exiled king –who voters kicked out decades earlier– and we have to accept him? Franco was not a legal ruler, and neither is the monarchy that Catalans despise.

  • Michael Deane

    92% of THOSE WHO VOTEDapproved of independence; but the actual TURN OUT was only 43%. Not a particularly strong mandate!

    • fluffnik

      A stronger mandate than Brexit…

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