On Thursday, thousands of Catalonians took to the streets of Girona to voice their anger against the royal family’s involvement in a series of corruption scandals.
The fresh protest came hours after Spain’s newly-appointed King Felipe VI reached out to Catalonians earlier in the day, urging their collaboration to help defuse tensions with Madrid.
“Sincere and generous collaboration is the best way to fulfill the legitimate aspirations of each person and achieve great collective goals for the common good,” the king said in a speech on his first visit to Catalonia since ascending to the throne.
The majority of 7.5 million inhabitants of Catalonia have expressed resentment for the redistribution of their taxes to other regions of Spain.
Catalan leaders plan to hold an independence referendum in November. The government has condemned the move as illegal.
Catalonia has been seeking independence and autonomy from Spain since the end of the 19th century. In recent years, massive rallies have been held to claim the self-determination right for the region.
The latest protest comes as the image of the royal family has been tarnished by a series of scandals. Juan Carlos’s daughter, Princess Cristina, and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, are under investigation for possible tax fraud and money laundering.
Spain has been the scene of anti-monarchy protests in recent weeks after Juan Carlos announced he would step down in favor of his son Philippe. The 46-year-old monarch was officially sworn in before parliament on June 19.
According to a survey conducted earlier this month, the majority of the Spanish people are in favor of a referendum on the future of monarchy in their country.