Barcelona mayor to avoid Spanish king reception during MWC
The Catalan government has stated that president Torra will attend the congress
The Mobile World Congress, running from February 25 to 28, is set to draw controversy: Felipe VI the King of Spain has announced he will attend the 2019 event in the Catalan capital, and as a response, on Tuesday Barcelona mayor Ada Colau said she will not take part in the reception for the monarch.
Last year, Colau also declined to formally greet King Felipe VI, whose attendance at the event led to protests over his televised response to the 2017 referendum and his failure to condemn the violence by Spanish police during the vote.
However, according to the city council, the mayor will attend the dinner to be held directly after the reception in Catalonia's national art gallery, MNAC, and will greet the monarch and the other authorities present, as well as attending the MWC's official inauguration on Monday.
Catalan government present
Meanwhile, the Catalan government confirmed it will also attend the trade fair and that president Quim Torra will formally greet the king, as he did during the opening ceremony of the Mediterranean Games, which were held in Tarragona last year.
The acting government spokesperson, home affairs minister Miquel Buch, on Tuesday justified the government's decision due to the event's "great importance to the country," adding that Torra will greet the king because "in Catalonia we are polite."
CDRs protest planned
Due to the king's presence, the pro-independence CDR group has also called a protest on Sunday, February 24, the day before the fair begins, to tell the monarch “he is not welcome,” and that Catalans are “not his subjects.” The protest is set to take place at the doors of the MNAC museum at 5pm.