King Felipe's message on Christmas Eve. | Efe - Ballesteros

In his Christmas message on Saturday evening, King Felipe made a point of calling for responsibility in reflecting constructively on the consequences of ignoring risks "for our union, for our coexistence and our institutions". He stressed this responsibility on more than one occasion during the message, which lasted almost twenty minutes, having issued an invitation to "strengthen our institutions - solid institutions that protect citizens and attend to their concerns".

The King identified three points on which he wished to focus - division, deterioration of coexistence, and the erosion of institutions. He appealed to institutions to respond to the "general interest", to cooperate among themselves "loyally, with respect for the Constitution and laws" and to be an example of "integrity and rectitude" and, in the face of political tension, he warned that "division makes democracy more fragile".

His Majesty stated that "we are undoubtedly living in uncertain times". "But if the success of a nation depends on the character of its citizens and on the personality and spirit that moves its society, we have reasons to look to the future with hope. We are one of the great nations of the world, with many centuries of history. We Spaniards have to continue deciding our destiny, our future together - taking care of our democracy, protecting coexistence, strengthening our institutions.

"We must continue to share objectives with a permanent spirit of renewal and adaptation to the times. With confidence in our country, in a Spain that I know well, courageous and open to the world: a Spain that seeks serenity, peace, tranquillity; a responsible, creative, vital and supportive Spain. This is the Spain that I see, the one I hear, the one I feel in many of you; and the one that, once again, will come out ahead. It is in the hands of all of us."

The King referred to the war in Ukraine: "We have experienced the suffering of the Ukrainian people and we continue to feel the loss of thousands of human lives with great sadness. We send our affection to the Ukrainian refugees in our country and to all their compatriots."