Friday, July 24, 2015

Barcelona council removes bust of former king of Spain from city hall

Barcelona's new  mayor removed a bust of former King Juan Carlos from the town hall. The highly political gesture reflects increasing differences between Spain's national government in Madrid and Catalonia, whose capital is the city of Barcelona.
Mayor Ada Colau removed the bust Thursday, saying the law stipulates there should be an image of the head of state in the chamber and Juan Carlos no longer holds that position.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria countered Friday that if Barcelona needed an image of new King Felipe VI — Juan Carlos' son— the government will gladly provide one. A unionist councillor, son of a Francoist militant, tried to substitute the bust for a frame without success. 


The likeness came down on the same day that Felipe, Juan Carlos son, warned that the push for secession could not take precedence over the law. An alliance of pro independence politicians, led by the Catalan president, Artur Mas, have said they are ready to declare unilateral independence from Spain if they win a majority in the regional elections at the end of September, 27th.

In his most pointed remarks on the issue to date, Spain’s king said: “Public authorities are subject to the rule of law, and it is by respecting it that they guarantee orderly functioning of the state.”He stopped short of referring to Catalonia or the push for independence, but the remarks were made at an address in Barcelona at which Mas was present.

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