King Juan Carlos called for unity during his customary Christmas message amid efforts by Catalan separatists to increase the region’s autonomy or become independent.
The King said the Constitution of 1978 has provided the country with its most stable period of liberty, something citizens must recognize.
At the same time, he appeared to empathize with those who believe more changes are necessary.
“I am convinced that all these questions can be resolved with realism, effort, the rule of law and the generosity of political and social forces,” said the King.
Talking about the restoration of Democracy and the current Constitutional order, His Majesty said, “Highlighting this historical achievement is not incompatible with recognizing, as I have just said, with the need to improve many aspects of the quality of our Democracy.”
He went on, “The Crown promotes and welcomes this national model. It believes in a free, fair and united country within its diversity. It believes in an open Spain where we all fit. And it believes in the Spain that we must all continue building.”
Don Juan Carlos also took time to recognize the ongoing economic crisis, note those who have left to work abroad, and the extended families who are pooling their resources to make ends meet.
Infanta Elena, the King’s eldest daughter, expressed concern this month by people’s skepticism with public institutions, including the Spanish Crown.
“I am disquieted by the distance people are feeling with institutions,” Her Royal Highness told the Spanish EFE news agency during a rare interview this month to mark her 50th birthday.
Infanta Elena, who is divorced, said she is always willing to represent the King, her father, and Spain at home and abroad.
Infanta Elena said her father taught his children a culture of effort. Her mother, the Queen, taught them tolerance, respect and concern.
The Spanish princess, who manages cultural and social projects for the foundation associated with insurance company MAPFRE SA, would not talk about her brother-in-law’s corruption investigation or talk of her father’s abdication.
She said her own children are more of their generation, focusing on homework and getting ahead.