MADRID, October 25 (RIA Novosti) - The Spanish should remember that they are united by emotional ties, King Felipe VI of Spain said.
"These feelings rooted and shared from North to South and from East to West in our territory, we should never forget them, much less lose them," the king said Friday when addressing the annual Prince of Asturias Awards 2014. "On the contrary, we have to preserve and nurture them," he added.
The statement comes on the threshold of the independence referendum in Catalonia.
"We, the Spanish, are no longer rivals to each other," he added.
The focus of the king's speech at the annual Prince of Asturias Awards 2014, which is one of the most prestigious awards in Spain in scientific, technical, cultural, social, and humanitarian work, was on two main issues: the Catalan independence referendum and the continuous corruption scandals that have divided the Spanish society.
On September 27, Catalan President Artur Mas signed a decree scheduling Catalonia's independence referendum for November 9. The Spanish government announced that it would block the motion by appealing to the Constitutional Court. On September 29, the court suspended the referendum while it deliberated on its legality.
Early in October, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) stated that the Catalan independence referendum would go ahead despite the Spanish Constitutional Court's ruling.