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Today saw the annual ceremony for the Princess of Asturias Awards, named after the heir to the Spanish throne, made to those who make notable achievements in the sciences, humanities, and public affairs around the world. The recipient of this year's "Concord" prize was the European Union in a ceremony led by the Spanish king, Felipe VI. In his speech, before the main leaders of the Union, the monarch eulogised the prizewinners before raising the topic of Catalonia, saying that Spain "has to face up to an unacceptable secession attempt". He warned that the situation would be resolved through the use of the rule of law. He said that Catalonia "is and will be an essential part of 21st century Spain".

Directly referring to the Catalan "challenge", the Spanish monarch said that the response to the independence movement would be found within the Constitution, "through its legitimate democratic institutions, within the Constitution and paying attention to the values and principles of the parliamentary democracy". He defended the "Spanish project" in which everyone can live in peace "whatever their ideas are or wherever they live", "without fear of imposition or arbitrariness".

Felipe VI warned that "no project can be based on breaking our coexistence". Facing the independence threat, he defended "three fundamental European principles: democracy, respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law". He compared the "ideals" that fashioned the Spanish state with those that inspired the European Union.