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Posted at: Oct 21, 2017, 4:09 PM; last updated: Oct 21, 2017, 4:09 PM (IST)

Spain facing 'unacceptable secession attempt': King Felipe

Oviedo (Spain), October 21

Spanish King Felipe VI, in an unusually emotional speech, has said his nation was facing an "unacceptable secession attempt" by Catalonia, insisting the region remains an essential part of Spain.

"We do not want to give up that which we have built together," he said on Friday, adding that the country had overcome "the mistakes of the past" — in an apparent reference to Spain's former military dictatorship.

"In recent decades Spaniards have continued our history, honouring our sovereign decision to live together in democracy," he said at the Princess of Asturias Awards, Spain's answer to the Nobel prizes.

"We have lived and shared successes and failures, triumphs and sacrifices, which have united us in joys and sufferings. We can not forget it."

Spain's achievements have been made possible by "a sincere desire for coexistence and understanding in compliance with the rules and rules of democracy", he added.

After Catalonia held a banned independence referendum on October 1 — sparking Spain's worst political crisis since it emerged from dictatorship in 1977 — Felipe had branded the separatist drive illegal and thrown his weight behind the national government. — AFP

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