Controversy over Spanish Army presence at education fair in Barcelona
City Council and the Catalan government are both against the military taking part in such events
The presence of the Spanish Army at Catalonia’s main educational fair has not been welcomed by all. Spain's military force has its own stand at the fair, aiming to present the institution as a professional opportunity for young people. Yet the presence of army representatives has again caused controversy this year, as it has in the past few editions.
Neither the Barcelona City Council nor the Catalan government like the army's presence at the fair, which is being held from March 14 to 18. In fact, in a local plenary session two years ago, the Catalan capital passed an institutional declaration saying that Barcelona favored excluding the army from these kind of events. However, the organisation hosting the education fair, Fira de Barcelona, has so far ignored the city's request.
When Barcelona mayor, Ada Colau, visited the fair in 2016 she spoke to the servicemen at the Spanish Army stand, telling them on behalf of Barcelona City Council that the Catalan capital had voted against them attending the fair. Meanwhile, Carles Puigdemont also sent a letter to the Fira de Barcelona organisation expressing his concern about the issue.
The education fair is held every year in Barcelona. Its goal is to guide and provide advice to young people by showing all of the educational options available to them. This year's fair has 190 stands, some 15 more than last year.