MADRID – King Juan Carlos of Spain has used his annual Christmas Eve message to appeal for national unity to overcome the economic crisis engulfing his country.
The message was broadcast on television and for the first time through YouTube.
The head of state called on politicians to work together to avoid "unnecessary confrontations," a reference which most will interpret as being aimed at political parties seeking a referendum on whether Catalonia should split from Spain.
The 74-year-old king said it was time to "do everything possible to close the open wounds" which had led to separatist desires.
Juan Carlos didn't mention the troubles that plagued him this year, including an elephant hunt in Africa during which he fractured his hip, and a fraud investigation into son-in-law Inaki Urdangarin's business affairs.