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King Felipe criticises the Catalonian referendum on independence

On the 1st of October, the Spanish region of Catalonia will have referendum deciding on if they should declare their independence from Spain or remain in the Spanish kingdom. The referendum has been suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court; however, the Catalan government stated the court order was not valid for Catalonia and has proceeded to gather the support needed to declare independence.

Now, the King of Spain, His Majesty Felipe VI, has intervened in the debate and the fight against the illegal referendum. His Majesty said that the Spanish people must respect the country’s constitution which forbids secession.

Demonstration for Catalan independence in 2010. Photo: Xenaia via Wikimedia Commons.

The King criticised in a speech he held at the National Culture Awards ceremony: “In the face of those who place themselves outside the constitutional and statutory law and who fracture society, the rights that belong to the Spaniards will be preserved and the liberties of all the citizens will be guaranteed and protected.”

His Majesty also said, “Coexistence in a constitutional democracy like ours is only possible if the laws which regulate and organise it are observed and followed by the citizens and by the institutions; if the rights and liberties of the citizens are protected and respected by the public powers.”

His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain. Photo: © Casa de S.M. el Rey

With this statement, His Majesty has now joined the intensifying offensive from the Spanish government against the Catalonian referendum. The Spanish government is now trying to end the idea of Catalonian independence by issuing stern letters to nearly 1,000 localities in the region. Catalonian president Carles Puigdemont has declared the potential breakaway nation will hold the vote regardless of the national government and, if a yes vote is cast, Catalonia “will act as a completely independent state.”

It is unusual for the Spanish monarch to interfere with political domestic affairs, but this is a very special case. An independent Catalonia will act as a republic and will not swear allegiance to the Spanish King. This is worrying not only for the royalists of the world, but this can also jeopardize peace and political stability in southwestern Europe.

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