Spain defies Catalan separatists to hold ministerial meeting

World | 21 Dec 2018 7:01 pm

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Spanish Cabinet members have arrived in a central Barcelona palace for a weekly Cabinet meeting that has been moved to the Catalan capital despite separatists’ protests against it.

Sanchez’s Socialist administration planned the meeting to convey an image of normalcy, but tension remains high in Catalonia despite progress in talks yesterday with the pro-secession president of the northeastern region.

Some scuffles have broken out on Friday in central Barcelona between pro-independence protesters trying to reach the venue of the Cabinet meeting and police trying to stop them.

The regional Mossos d’Esquadra police force says that one protester has been arrested for public disorder near the headquarters of Spain’s National Police in a downtown avenue.

The meeting normally takes place in Madrid, but Sanchez has vowed to take it to other Spanish cities as a gesture of commitment to decentralization.-AP

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