Felipe VI of Spain speaks out

King Felipe VI of Spain has spoken to his country following the independence referendum in Catalonia on Sunday. In an address that came after several days of silence from the head of state, King Felipe described the bid for autonomy as illegal and unconstitutional. But while the story that went around the world on Sunday involved police aggression against some of those voting, there was no mention of the those injured in a speech the King of Spain said was for all his people.

You can watch the whole speech above. In summary, Felipe described the situation in Spain as extremely serious and called for unity. But while reaching out to those in Catalonia who don't want independence, Felipe failed to mention once the almost 900 people who were injured when they attempted to vote in the referendum on Sunday.

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His speech described the Catalan leaders who had organised the referendum as ''irresponsible'' and said they had shown 'disrespect' to the State. He described Catalonia as broken and its leaders as on the margins of the law. He also said he was bringing a message of hope to Spaniards who are fearful following the referendum and ended by pledging his commitment to the unity of Spain. But the response to the speech was mixed.

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Many were surprised there had been no reference to the actions which left so many injured. Felipe's hardcore line made headlines around the world on a day when thousands have taken to the streets of Barcelona to protest against police actions on Sunday. A strike brought many parts of the city to a standstill with some of its most famous attractions closed.

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The address of the King of Spain to his people won a huge audience with many stopping by bars to see the speech unfold. The response continues to come in. Felipe had faced criticism for saying nothing immediately after Sunday's vote. This speech may well see him tackling further criticism on a day when he spoke out and a storm continued.

Photo credit: casareal.rs