Spain vetoes Catalan police to guard president in Brussels trip
Banned conference of Torra and predecessor Puigdemont to be held in Belgian capital hotel
The Spanish government vetoed the Catalan police, Mossos d'Esquadra, to guard the Catalan president, Quim Torra, in his official trip to Brussels on Monday.
Madrid has to give permission every time a law enforcement officer has to work abroad, and this time it was explicitly rejected, alleging there is no "extraordinary risk" for the officials' safety.
On Thursday, the foreign affairs minister, Alfred Bosch, is also expected to travel to Brussels, but Spain has also rejected allowing a guard for him during his stay.
Conference to be held in hotel
The trip was preceded by controversy involving a conference Torra had planned to give along with his predecessor Carles Puigdemont in the European Parliament.
The chamber president, Antonio Tajani, banned the conference, and instead the event will be held in the end in the Steinberger hotel in the Belgian capital on Monday at 6.30pm.
Talk banned in European Parliament
"There is a high risk that the proposed event could pose a threat to the maintenance of public order on Parliament's premises," said an EU statement on Friday, after a security request made by the chamber's Spanish unionist parties to call the meeting off.
Organized by Belgian MEP, Ralph Packet, the talk entitled 'Catalonia and the referendum trial: a challenge for the EU' was also to have seen Puigdemont and Torra meet the international press.