King Felipe was making his third Christmas Eve address.

24-12-2016Angel D

King Felipe, making his third Christmas Eve address since succeeding Juan Carlos, has called for there to be a Spain with open arms and outstretched hands within a democratic co-existence based on respect for the law. Now is not the time, he said, for fractures and internal divisions.

He asked political parties to seek dialogue and understanding in promoting basic consensus to overcome the complex political situation which had led to the ten month delay in confirming the investiture of Mariano Rajoy as prime minister. He emphasised that closed wounds should not be opened and that old grudges should not be stirred.

The King did not specifically mention Catalonia in stressing what unites Spain. "Violating rules that guarantee democracy and liberty only leads to sterile tensions and confrontations which resolve nothing and which later lead to the moral and material impoverishment of society".

He spoke of progress, modernisation and well-being requiring democratic co-existence with which to build and "to not destroy". "The great common heritage of Spain deserves the care of everyone."

Felipe said that he was "genuinely proud" of the way in which the Spanish people had reacted to economic crisis and overcome it. This was a reason, he said, for hope that "society maintains these attitudes, these convictions and these values in not being afraid of the future". He went on to say that now is the time to think about what Spain "we want" for the next decades, a Spain that will be "of the young people of today ... to be forged with solidity".

The King, who did not on this occasion refer to corruption or terrorism, spoke of the importance of technological advancement and of education in promoting research and creativity. He also offered words of support for people in the Balearics, Valencia and Murcia who have been affected by the recent floods.

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