KING Juan Carlos has called for a ‘united’ Spain in the face of economic crisis.
The monarch urged the country to recreate the binding spirit that helped build Spain’s post-Franco democracy, lambasting the regions for encouraging ‘dissent’ and ‘opening up wounds’.
“Now is not the time for chasing pipe dreams, but for unification,” he said, referring to Cataluna’s latest push for separatism.
In a letter printed on his brand new website, www.casareal.es, Juan Carlos went on: “We are at a crossroads that will determine the future of Europe and of Spain, and strengthen, or ruin, the wellbeing we have worked so hard to achieve.”
“The only way we will overcome the current difficulties is by working together, walking together and joining voices.
“We need to recover and reinforce those values that have prevailed during the best periods of our complex history, which were particularly dominant during Spain’s transition to democracy,”
Last week 1.5 million people joined Barcelona’s annual march for an independent Cataluna – with protestors demanding a tax review for the region.
Cataluna has long argued it pays far more tax than the rest of Spain – €16 billion more per year to be exact – which is collected by central government then redistributed to the poorer regions.
“The crisis has shown that Spain’s regional financing model does not work. There is no doubt we need to advance towards a federal system of taxation,” said Jose Ignacio Conde-Ruiz from economic thinktank FEDEA.
Today Cataluna’s leader Artur Mas and Prime Minister Rajoy were in meetings to discuss Mas’ plans to free his region from Spain’s tax regime.