Echoing the sentiment from his prime minister Mariano Rajoy, in a nationwide address on Tuesday night, Spain's King Felipe VI said that Spanish democracy is in a serious moment, and accuses Catalan separatist leaders of violating constitution.
"For some time now, certain officials in Catalonia have repeatedly, consciously and purposefully breached the constitution and their statute of autonomy"
Toeing the government line, the King said referendum plans were illegal, and that it is "irresponsible" to conduct risks economy.
The King appealed for calm, says he remains committed to unity and, without a trace of irony, the unelected monarch said that Catalan separatists have "shattered Spain's democratic principles."
Some more highlights of his speech, courtesy of The Spain Report:
- King Felipe says Spain living through "very grave" moments for country because of Catalan crisis.
- King Felipe says Catalan government seeking to illegally proclaim independence.
- King Felipe says Catalan society today is fractured and divided, says economic stability of Spain at risk
- King Felipe says Catalan authorities "totally outside law and democracy. They have meant to fracture Spain".
- King Felipe says Spanish state must ensure constitutional order in Catalonia.
- King Felipe says "very complex moments" but "we will come through" and "our democratic principles are solid".
- King Felipe says Spanish crown firmly committed to constitutional order.
Below is the Full Text Of King Felipe's Statement To Country On Catalan Crisis
"We are living through very grave moments for our democratic life. And in these circumstances, I want to address all Spaniards directly. We have all been witness to the events that have happened in Catalonia, with the final goal of the Catalan government being to illegally proclaim the independence of Catalonia."
"For some time, certain authorities in Catalonia have repeatedly, consciously and deliberately not complied with the Constitution and their Statute of Autonomy, which is the law that recognises, protects and defends historical institutions and self-government."
"With their decisions, they have systematically violated legally and legitimately approved rules, showing an inadmissible disloyalty towards the powers of the state. A state that those very authorities represent in Catalonia."
"They have shattered the democratic principles of every state of law and have undermined harmony and coexistence in Catalan society itself, even, unfortunately, dividing it. Today, Catalan society is fractured and in conflict. These authorities have scorned the affection and sentiments of solidarity that have united and will unite all Spaniards, and with their irresponsible behaviour might even put the economic and social stability of Catalonia and all of Spain at risk."
"Summing up, all of that has led to the unacceptable attempt to appropriate the historical institutions of Catalonia. These authorities, in a clear, emphatic manner, have placed themselves outside of the law and of democracy. They have sought to shatter the unity of Spain and national sovereignty, which is the right of all Spaniards to decide democratically on their life together."
"That is why, faced with this situation of extreme gravity, which requires the firm commitment of all with the general interest, it is the responsibility of the legitimate powers of the state to ensure constitutional order and the normal functioning of our institutions, the validity of the state of law and self-government in Catalonia, based on the Constitution and its Statute of Autonomy."
"Today, I also want to send several messages to all Spaniards, particularly to Catalans."
"To the citizens of Catalonia—all of them—I want to reiterate that we have lived for several decades in a democratic state that offers constitutional paths for any person to defend their ideas within the respect for the law. Because, as we all know, without that respect, democratic coexistence in peace and liberty without that respect is not possible, in Catalonia, or the rest of Spain or anywhere else in the world. In constitutional and democratic Spain, you know you have a space for harmony and meeting with your fellow citizens."
"I know very well that in Catalonia there is also much worry and anxiety about the conduct of regional authorities. To those who feel that way, I say to you that you are not alone, that you have the full support and solidarity of other Spaniards, and the absolute guarantee of our state of law in defence of your liberty and your rights."
"And to all Spaniards, who live with the unease and sadness of these events, I send you a message of calm, confidence and also of hope."
"These are difficult times, but we will get through them. These are very complex times, but we will push forward. Because we believe in our country and we feel proud of who we are. Because our democratic principles are strong and solid. And they are strong and solid because they are based on living together in peace and liberty. That is how we have built Spain over the last few decades. And that is how we must continue along our path, with serenity and determination. On that path, in that better Spain we all wish for, we will also find Catalonia."
"Bringing my remarks, meant for all Spaniards, to a close, I underline once again the firm commitment of the Crown with the Constitution and with democracy, my dedication to understanding and harmony among Spaniards, and my commitment as King to the unity and permanence of Spain."
Meanwhile, in what some have called would be the equivalent of Spain's "nuclear option", Bloomberg reported that Spain's PM Rajoy was mulling whether to use Article 155 of constitution to take control from the administration in Barcelona. Needless to say, it would not go over well in Spain's wealthiest region.