Spain: cabinet meeting in Barcelona ‘show of affection’ towards Catalonia
Heavy security measures while gathering sparks pro-independence protests
The Spanish government described its controversial cabinet meeting in Barcelona a "show of affection" towards Catalonia, while the gathering sparked protests by pro-independence groups and brought with it tight security measures in the city.
"It’s good that a cabinet meeting can take place in any part of Spain—and Barcelona is my city," said Meritxell Batet, the Spanish minister for public administrations. "This is compatible with protests and citizens’ freedom of expression."
Pro-independence groups saw the meeting as a provocation and called on supporters to take to the streets. Yet, negotiations from both governments eventually served to cool tensions down. Catalan and Spanish presidents held a meeting on Thursday, in an effort to preserve the fragile alliance that allowed the latter’s unexpected rise to power last spring.