Spanish King Demands Catalan Parliament Renounce Secession

Warns Against Any Confrontation in Christmas Address

With the Spanish government’s attempt to end Catalan secession by forcing a new election having failed, leading to the election of another majority of pro-secession MPs, King Felipe VI used his Christmas address to warn the new parliament to renounce secessionist ambitions.

King Felipe VI

The king insisted that a confrontation would “generate discord and uncertainty” in the region. It’s unlikely, given the December campaign making secession the core of the election, that a victorious pro-secession bloc is going to let the matter drop outright.

At the same time, some Catalan secessionist parties did give lip-service to trying to make the break a more negotiated process than the previous effort was, which saw Catalonia hold a vote over Spanish objections, and attempt to secede outright afterwards.

Spanish officials, particularly Prime Minister Rajoy, have long rejected the idea of a negotiated exit, but their trump card of forcing a new election having failed, they may no longer feel they can just try to jail the secessionist leaders as rebels.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.