Spain must thwart attempt to split the country - King Felipe VI
Spanish King Felipe VI claimed that the country was confronted with an "unacceptable" attempt of secession as Catalonia constituted an integral part of Spain.
Felipe VI, in an emotional speech during the ceremony of the Princess of Asturias Awards, urged Spain to resist attempts to split the country through legal procedures "in accordance with values and principles of parliamentary democratic rule Spain has been enjoying for 39 years."
King's words can actually mean that he does not rule the possibility of triggering Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which would entitle the government to suspend the autonomous status of Catalan region.
The prestigious prize-giving ceremony was attended by European leaders, in so doing implicitly pledging their support for Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's position on unite Spain and rejecting the Catalan bid for independence.
On October 1, over 90 percent of more than 2 million Catalans who participated in the region’s referendum on independence expressed in favor of the region's secession from Spain. The referendum has been deemed illegal by the central Spanish authorities.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont announced on October 10 that the results of the vote enabled the declaration of independence. However, the Catalan leader called on the regional parliament to suspend the proclamation in order to make way for dialogue with Madrid.
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