“We’ve seen an attempt to undermine the rules of our democratic system”

The speech by Felipe VI marked the first time a Spanish head of state has addressed the WEF meeting

Felipe VI speaking in Davos.LAURENT GILLIERON (EFE) / VÍDEO: REUTERS-QUALITYundefined

The lesson from the Catalan crisis is the need to preserve respect for the law as the cornerstone of democracy. This is one of the messages that Spain’s King Felipe VI delivered at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos to the world’s economic elites.

“We have seen an attempt to undermine the rules of our democratic system,” said the king about the secessionist bid in Catalonia. “A lesson to be learned from this crisis, a lesson not only for Spain but for democracies in general, is the need to preserve the rule of law as a cornerstone, precisely, of democracy, and to respect political pluralism and the basic principle of national sovereignty that belongs to all citizens.”

My country is a law-abiding state where legal certainty prevails

Felipe VI of Spain

The monarch said that “political disputes and disagreements must be resolved in accordance with the democratic rules and values laid down by our Constitution and legal framework.” The Constitution is “not a mere ornament” but an expression of the will of the people and a key pillar of Spaniards’ democratic coexistence, he added.

“My country is a law-abiding state where legal certainty prevails, and therefore the Constitution and the laws are effectively enforced.”

In a speech delivered in English to discuss the present and future of Spain, Felipe VI underscored the good prospects for the economy and recent achievements in tourism, healthcare and other sectors. He also noted that Spaniards have “long ago abandoned the old clichés and stereotypes that were once attributed to us.”

Felipe VI also expressed support for the European Union

Felipe VI also expressed support for the European Union and for plans to achieve greater monetary union and a cohesive common security project.

This week, the International Monetary Fund announced its revised World Economic Outlook, in which Spain’s growth forecast has been slightly reduced due to “political instability.”

Other world leaders attending the meeting on Wednesday included Brazil’s Michel Temer, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Angela Merkel, Italy’s Paolo Gentiloni and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker.

English version by Susana Urra.

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