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Barcelona mayor orders yellow ribbon removed from city hall

Ada Colau has symbol in support of jailed Catalan leaders removed from facade to comply with electoral authority ruling


15 March 2019 11:40 AM


ACN | Barcelona

Barcelona mayor Ada Colau has had the yellow ribbon symbol in support of jailed Catalan leaders removed from the city hall façade in compliance with a ruling from the electoral authority to remove such "partisan" symbols.

The mayor's decision comes after the Catalan president Quim Torra chose to defy a similar order and leave the symbol on the facade of the government building, arguing the right to "freedom of expression."

With three elections approaching in April and May, the electoral authority ordered the government to remove the symbols in response to a complaint from the unionist Ciutadans opposition party.

In the case of the Barcelona city council, the complaint that led Colau to order its symbol to be removed came from the unionist People's Party.

Before Colau issued the order to remove the yellow ribbon symbol, a group of hooded people had already taken it down in the early hours of Thursday morning, although it was later returned to the building's facade.

The council justified its decision, saying it wanted to "contribute" to a climate of debate in the run-up to the elections, and for this to take place "in the terrain of politics and not in the legal sphere."

Cs presents lawsuit against government

In response to Torra's decision to defy the order to remove the yellow ribbon symbols and independence flags from public buildings, the Cs party on Friday registered a lawsuit against the government.

According to Cs leader, Inés Arrimadas, the refusal to remove the "separatist propaganda" constitutes an electoral offense and disobedience. "They think they can do what they want. They do not have impunity," she added.

Arrimadas also appealed Torra's decision in Spain's electoral authority. The president's response came on Friday afternoon. He denied that yellow ribbons are partisan symbols, as "they don't represent a single political party."

He also criticized that far-right Vox party is taking part in the Catalan trial as a prosecutor, and described it as "anomalous."