Spanish King Felipe VI used his Christmas message to call for responsible thinking and respect for plurality from the new Catalan government, in his annual address from the Zarzuela Palace on the outskirts of Madrid on Sunday. “A few days ago, the people of Catalonia voted to choose their representatives in Parliament. They must now tackle the problems which face all Catalans, respecting... Еще plurality of opinion and thinking responsibly for the common good,” he said. The Spanish monarch admitted that 2017 had been a “difficult year” for him and for Spain. He warned that “the path cannot lead once again to conflict or exclusion” in Catalonia. Felipe VI has significantly softened his tone since he last commented on Catalan independence. In October he dedicated an entire special address to the issue, reserving strong criticism for separatist leaders. In contrast, this year’s closely choreographed Christmas message only dedicated a few paragraphs to the issue, having been recorded shortly after the regional elections in Catalonia on December 21.