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Spain's King Felipe Urges Catalan Leaders to Act Responsibly

King Felipe VI of Spain on December 18, 2017 in Madrid. 

King Felipe VI of Spain on December 18, 2017 in Madrid. 

Photographer: Pool/Getty Images Europe

Spain’s King Felipe VI called on Catalonia’s leaders to act responsibly as they form a new government following elections that handed separatists a majority in the regional parliament.

“Catalan citizens voted to elect their representatives in the parliament who must now confront the problems that affect all Catalans, respecting plurality and thinking responsibly for the good of all," Felipe said in his annual Christmas Eve speech on Sunday night, sitting in the Zarzuela Palace with the Spanish and European Union flags behind him. The king said 2017 had been a difficult year, “marked mainly by the conflict in Catalonia," adding that Spain is a country in which everybody is free to express their thoughts without imposing them on others.