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Spain vetoed Catalan parliament visit to Scotland before April election

Media report claims Spanish foreign ministry also stopped Scottish business mission to Catalonia and prevented Catalan entrepreneurs visiting Edinburgh

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18 November 2019 05:50 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Spain vetoed an official visit by the Catalan parliament to Scotland before the general election at the end of April, the online newspaper Vozpopuli said on Monday, which was later confirmed by the Catalan News Agency (ACN).

The Spanish consul to Edinburgh at the time was given instructions by the Spanish foreign ministry to stop the visit organized by a former Catalan parliament speaker, Josep Costa, according to the report.

The former Spanish consul, Miguel Ángel Vecino Quintana, told ACN that he did not agree with the ministry's order, and that "it took a lot of effort" to comply with it, because Scotland did not wish to postpone the visit.

While the vice presidency of the Catalan parliament confirmed that the visit to the Scottish capital never took place, it added that the postponement was also due in part to its own circumstances.

Pressure to stop business missions

However, in the Vozpopuli report, Vecino Quintana claims that Spanish diplomats also put on pressure to prevent a Scottish business mission to Catalonia, as well as trying to stop another visit of Catalan businesspeople to Edinburgh.

Vecino says a top foreign ministry official asked him if he could guarantee that none of the business people to visit Scotland were in favor of independence. When he said he couldn't, the official told him to "stop this visit and any other" in order to "avoid surprises."

The foreign ministry removed Vecino from his post last June, after the former consul stated in a letter that if Scotland achieved independence, it would not have to "wait at the back of the line" to be readmitted into the European Union.

Vecino Quintana, who has launched a lawsuit over his dismissal, told ACN that he had received "a threatening letter" from the foreign ministry warning him that if he leaked documents about his time in Scotland he would be "guilty" of various offenses.

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  • Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon and Catalan vice president Pere Aragonès (by Catalan government)

  • Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon and Catalan vice president Pere Aragonès (by Catalan government)

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