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Exiled official claims Spanish diplomatic moves to bar him from event in Belgium

Lluís Puig says he was prevented from inaugurating exhibition, while embassy denies accusation

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19 October 2018 11:01 AM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The former Catalan minister Lluís Puig, now exiled in Brussels, has denounced some Spanish diplomatic moves to bar him from inaugurating an exhibition in the Belgian capital.

According to him, he was set to inaugurate an event in the Free University of Brussels on Thursday evening, but “pressures” from the Spanish embassy in the country led the host organization, the architecture faculty, to suspend the planned speeches.

Puig is now director of the Catalan government program to develop cultural projects in the international sphere, but he claims not being let in the opening as such.

“We feel threatened, vilified, and strangely pursued, when speaking about architecture and promoting the Catalan architecture seems a noble task to us,” he said to the Catalan News Agency (ACN).

  • "We feel threatened, vilified, and strangely pursued, when speaking about architecture and promoting the Catalan architecture seems a noble task to us"

    Lluís Puig · Catalan former exiled minister

For him, it is a new “attack to the freedom of speech” after Spain withdrew the diplomatic status for the Flemish delegate earlier this week as a reaction some critical comments from the Flanders parliament speaker.

“In the past few days the Spanish foreign ministry has been breaking its bilateral relationship with Flanders and I do not know if they want to break it as well with Wallonia,” he claimed.

According to Puig, the exhibition was jointly organized by the Catalan government and the Wallonia region authority.

Embassy denies it

Yet sources of the Spanish embassy in Belgium denied the accusations and said “no one has tried to prevent or prevented” his speech in the exhibition.

“The decision of not having speeches has been taken by the faculty dean,” said these sources.

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  • The Catalan former culture minister, Lluís Puig, on October 18, 2018 (by Natàlia Segura)

  • The Catalan former culture minister, Lluís Puig, on October 18, 2018 (by Natàlia Segura)

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