King of Spain Felipe VI pronounced at 9pm yesterday his first extraordinary speech since accessing the Throne in June 2014. Two days after the referendum staged by the independence bloc in Catalonia, when president Puigdemont had already announced that the next step would be the unilateral declaration of independence, His Majesty Felipe VI addressed the nation with a historic discourse to “ensure constitutional order and the normal functioning of institutions, the rule of law and self-government in Catalonia”.
Felipe VI started with a solid and forceful criticism of the Generalitat’s performance. “Certain authorities in Catalonia, in a repeated, conscious and deliberate manner, have been violating the Constitution” he said. These authorities “have been systematically violating legally and legitimately approved standards” and, moreover, have an attitude of “inadmissible disloyalty”. The King’s position left no doubt stating that the Generalitat is “totally on the margin of the law and democracy” after having created a state of “extreme gravity” and having “undermined harmony and coexistence”. An attitude that was also described as an “unacceptable attempt to appropriate the historical institutions of Catalonia”.
The Head of State opened the way for the Government to activate all measures within its reach to restore constitutional order in Catalonia. Significantly, the discourse did not include the word “dialogue”, used continuously by all political actors who display a more or less dissimilar equidistance with the totalitarian escalation branded by the Generalitat. Using a grave tone, the six minutes of the King’s speech constituted an eloquent and lucid call to the restoration of institutional order in this Spanish region. The Catalan authorities, which have “marginalized themselves from law and democracy”, oblige the public authorities “to ensure the constitutional order and the normal functioning of institutions, the rule of law and self-government of Catalonia”.
Felipe VI, who did not mention at any moment neither the police nor the wounded demonstrators, wanted to transmit “several messages to the Spanish People, particularly the Catalans”. The first was to remember that Spain is a democratic state in which “any person” can defend their ideas “in the respect of the Law”. To those who feel worried about the conduct of the Catalan authorities, Felipe VI assured that “they are not alone and will not be” because they have all the support and solidarity of the rest of the Spanish people and the “absolute guarantee of the Rule of Law”. In addition, the King inspired “tranquility, confidence and hope” to all the Spanish who witness with sadness the situation created in Catalonia.
In the last paragraphs of his speech, Felipe VI made reference to the emotional intensity with which the events of Catalonia have been seen all over the country: “These are difficult times, but we will overcome them. These are very complex moments, but we will carry on” he said. The reason for the optimism showed by the King was precisely the strength and solidity of the Democratic Principles of the Nation. “Serenity and determination” must prevail in the institutions of the State for the resolution of the crisis unleashed by the block of independence. His Majesty The King, spoke from his work office surrounded by the flags of Spain and the European Union.
The closing of the speech of Felipe VI was dedicated to reiterate the commitment of the Crown to the Constitution, Democracy and the Unity of Spain. In this sense, HM Felipe VI proclaimed ‘dedication to the understanding and Concord between the Spanish people, and to my commitment as King with the Unity and permanence of Spain’.
Source & translation from: www.larazon.es