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Catalan leader encourages new Spanish king to mediate push for independence

June 20th, 2014
07:56 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

From Scotland to South Sudan, Crimea to Donetsk, independence referendums (legal or not) are in vogue.

And for Artur Mas, president of the Spanish region of Catalonia, the desire is just as strong.

“Catalonia was born one thousand years ago. We have a long history behind us,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on the day Spain inaugurated its new king, Felipe VI.

“We have found a lot of different obstacles, problems, difficulties and so on. And we have always tried to overcome.”

“Now it is the right time for the referendum in Catalonia to go on and to go ahead. And our way to do that will be absolutely peaceful – and this is not the case in Ukraine – and also absolutely democratic.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Spain

Juan Carlos kept Spain ‘from extremism,’ Constantine II says

June 2nd, 2014
03:40 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Spain’s King Juan Carlos, who announced Monday he would abdicate, prevented the country from falling prey to extremism and made sure it remained democratic, Constantine II, former king of Greece, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

“His legacy is very, very important,” Constantine II, who is Juan Carlos’ brother-in-law, said. “He went through a very difficult period to do that. But I was convinced that he would overcome all the difficulties, and he has done that.”

The monarch will step down after 40 years on the throne and hand power to his 46-year-old son, Crown Prince Felipe.

“Although I'm not party to his decision,” Constantine II said, “I suspect that he considered that forty years is quite substantial.”

“And so the difficulty is to find the right moment; I believe that he has done that. He has found the right moment.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Greece • Latest Episode • Spain