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Catalan government to boycott king's visit on Friday

Demonstrations expected as Felipe and Spanish president will attend economic awards ceremony


06 October 2020 02:12 PM


ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan government has announced it will boycott the King of Spain's visit to Barcelona on Friday.

The interim cabinet spokesperson, Meritxell Budó, confirmed on Tuesday that none of the executive's officials will attend the economic awards ceremony which Felipe and the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, will be present at.

"Wherever the king is present, the Catalan government will not be," she said.

Budó added that she would not like this move to be interpreted as a "veto" to the monarch because it is only about not attending the event.

This comes as Spanish justice minister Juan Carlos Campo argued that Spain has a "fully democratic monarchy" due to the 1978 constitutional referendum in response to a question from senator Maria Teresa Rivero Segalàs, who like Budó is also a member of pro-independence JxCat.

October 3, 2017 speech

She also insisted that Felipe has to apologize for his speech on October 3, 2017, where he blasted the Catalan government, at the time led by Carles Puigdemont, for having organized a referendum – the leader of Spain's Royal Family made no mention of the Spanish police operation in polling stations that led to over 1,000 injured, according to the Catalan health department.

The pro-independence camp has mentioned this speech when boycotting events with the king or avoiding meetings with Felipe in the past three years.

King Felipe will face pro-independence protests

Felipe and Sánchez will take part in the Barcelona New Economy Week awards ceremony, Spain's justice minister Juan Carlos Campo said in a radio interview on Monday.

They will also visit a start-up called 3D Factory Incubator in Barcelona's Zona Franca industrial estate.

The visit will prompt some pro-independence protests as the monarch faced demonstrations in favor of a republic on the last occasions he attended events in Catalonia.

Indeed, CDR activists have already announced that they will rally against the crown on Friday. "The CDR group will be there to remind him that he is not welcome here," a tweet of the pro-independence organization read.

The group has not revealed the time they will be rallying as the timings of Felipe's agenda have not been disclosed.