The newly crowned King Felipe made his first appearance in Catalonia only one week after his coronation, in a clear effort to win over pro-independence Catalans. Felipe VI made half of his speech in Catalan language, which he praised as being a language “in a permanent, sincere and enriching dialogue and co-existence with Spanish.”
Some analysts argue that the King could play a crucial role as a mediator between Catalan and Spanish authorities. However, it is unlikely that Catalans renounce the independence referendum that the main parties agreed to hold next 9 November.
The Wall Street Journal | Spain’s King Felipe Strikes New Tone In Catalonia
[Felipe’s] kind words for the local language come at a time when many Catalans are angry over a new central government education law and a recent court decision, both of which they fear will curtail the use of Catalan in schools.
It will take more than royal gestures to wear down the hardened opposition to the central government here. Earlier this month, Girona’s governing council approved a motion saying the city is not represented by the Prince of Girona—a historic title held by Felipe until he became king, whereupon his elder daughter Leonor became Princess of Girona. A pro-referendum protest was convoked Thursday in Girona under the motto “No Pact. No King. Let the People of Catalonia Decide.”