Semi-Official translation of the newspaper El Pais:
We find ourselves at a critical juncture for our existence as a democracy. In these circumstances, I wish to address all Spaniards. We have all witnessed the facts that have taken place in Catalonia, with the illegal declaration of independence as the final goal of the Catalan Government (Generalitat).
For a long time, some Catalan authorities have repeatedly, consciously and deliberately flouted the Constitution and their own Statute of Autonomy, which is the law that acknowledges, protects and safeguards their historic institutions and their self-government.
With their decisions, they have systematically infringed the rules legally and rightfully approved and have shown an unacceptable disloyalty towards the institutions of the State. A State of which, by the way, those authorities are the highest representatives in Catalonia.
They have violated the democratic principles of the rule of law and they have undermined the Catalan society’s harmony and coexistence, unfortunately even to the point of driving a wedge within it. Today, the Catalan society is fractured and at loggerheads.
The Catalan authorities have underestimated the affections and feelings of solidarity that have united and will long unite the Spaniards, and with their reckless behavior, they may be even endangering the economic and social stability of Catalonia and of Spain as a whole.
In short, this has been the completion of an unacceptable attempt to take over the historic institutions of Catalonia. Those authorities have unequivocally and categorically placed themselves outside the law and outside democracy. They have tried to break Spain’s unity and national sovereignty, which is the right of all Spanish people to democratically decide on their life together.
Therefore, and in light of this extremely serious situation, that requires everyone’s commitment to pursue the common interests, the rightful powers of the State have the responsibility to guarantee the constitutional order and the normal functioning of the institutions, the validity of the rule of law and Catalonia’s self-government, based on the Constitution and their own Statute of Autonomy.
Today I wish to send several messages to all Spaniards and in particular to Catalans. To the citizens of Catalonia —to all of them—, I wish to reiterate that we have been living for several decades already in a democratic State, that provides constitutional ways for anyone to defend their ideas within the law. Because, as we all know, without respect for the law, there is no possible democratic coexistence in peace and freedom, neither in Catalonia, nor in the rest of Spain, nor anywhere in the world. In a democratic and constitutional Spain, they know that they have a space for coexisting and getting along with all their fellow citizens.
I am well aware that in Catalonia there is also great concern and anxiety about the Catalan authorities’ behavior. To those who feel that way, I assure that they are not nor they will be alone; they have all the support and the solidarity of the rest of the Spanish people, as well as the absolute guarantee given by the rule of law in the defense of their freedom and their rights.
To all Spaniards, who are living through these events full of sadness and distress, I send a message of calm, confidence and hope.
These are troubled times, but we will overcome them. These are very complicated times, but we will get through them. Because we believe in our country and we are proud of what we are. Because our democratic principles are solid and strong. And they are so because they are based on the wishes of millions and millions of Spaniards who want a peaceful and free coexistence. That is how we have gradually built the Spain of these last decades. And that is how we must go forward, with serenity and determination. In that road, in that improved Spain that we all want, Catalonia will be too.
Let me end this words, addressed to all Spaniards, by emphasizing once again the Crown’s firm commitment to the Constitution and to democracy, my own dedication to a climate of understanding and harmony among Spaniards, and my commitment, as King, to the unity and continuity of Spain.
Translation by F.MAN
Message from His Majesty the King
Palace of La Zarzuela, October 3, 2017
We are living very serious moments for our democratic life. And in these circumstances, I want to address Myself directly to all Spaniards. We have all witnessed of the events that have taken place in Catalonia, with the final pretension of the Generalitat(1) to declare -illegally- the independence of Catalonia.
For some time now, certain Authorities in Catalonia, in a repeated, conscious and deliberate manner, have been breaching the Constitution and its Statute of Autonomy, which is the Law that recognizes, protects and shelter its Self-Governance and Historical Institutions
Through their decisions they have systematically infringe all legitimate approved Norms(2), demonstrating an inadmissible disloyalty to the Powers of the State. A state which, precisely, these Authorities represent in Catalonia.
They have broken the Democratic Principles of every State that follows the Rule of the Law and have undermined the Harmony and Coexistence in the same Catalonian Society, and unfortunately, divide it. Today Catalonian society is fractured and confronted.
These Authorities have disrupted the affections and feelings of solidarity that have had united and will unite the Spaniards; and with his irresponsible behavior even might have jeopardize the economic and social stability of Catalonia and all Spain.
In short, all this has meant the culmination of an unacceptable attempt of appropriation of the Historical Institutions of Catalonia. These Authorities, in a clear and resolute manner, have been placed entirely outside the Law and outside Democracy. They have tried to break the Unity of Spain and the National Sovereignty, which is the right of all Spaniards to democratically decide their life together.
For all this and in view of this extremely serious situation, that requires the firm commitment of all with the general interests (3), it is the responsibility of the Legitimate Powers of the State to ensure the functioning of all Constitutional and Normal Order and Institutions, the validity of the Rule of Law and the Self-governance of Catalonia, based on the Constitution and its Statute of Autonomy.
Today, I would also like to transmit several messages to all Spaniards, particularly the Catalonians.
To the citizens of Catalonia -to all of them- I want to reiterate that for decades we have been living in a Democratic State that offers the means (under the constitution and the Rule of Law) for anyone to defend their ideas. Because, as we all know, without that respect (4) there is no coexistence, no Democracy in peace neither Freedom, not in Catalonia nor in the rest of Spain, or anywhere in the world. In the constitutional and democratic Spain, they know well that they have a space for concord (5) and meeting between his fellow citizens.
I know very well that in Catalonia there is also much anxiety and great concern about the conduct of the Authorities of the Autonomous Region (of Catalonia). To those who feel it, I tell them that they are not alone, nor will they be; they have all the Support and Solidarity of the rest of the Spaniards, and the absolute guarantee of the State and the Rule of Law in the defense of their freedom and their rights.
And to all the Spaniards, who live with uneasiness and sadness these events, I am sending you a message of tranquility, confidence and also hope.
These are difficult times, but we will overcome them. These are very complex moments, but we will move forward. Because we believe in our country and we are proud of who we are. Because our democratic principles are strong and solid. Because they are based on the desire of millions and millions of Spaniards to live together in Peace and Freedom. That’s how we went building the Spain of the last decades. And we must follow that path, with serenity and determination. In that way, in that better Spain than we all wish, will also be Catalonia.
I finish these words, addressed to all the Spanish people, to stress once again the firm commitment of the Crown with the Constitution and Democracy, my commitment to the understanding and harmony between Spaniards, and my commitment as King with the Unity and Permanence of Spain.
- “La Generalitat” it is the traditional name of the Regional Government in Catalonia
- I think he means both Local and National Laws
- Meaning the interest of all People (all Spaniards in general) in the Nation
- He means the Respect for the Laws. To live under the Rule of Law
- A place for agreement and encounter (this is a difficult sentence)