Catalans mock King of Spain amid efforts to ease tensions | Your money
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Supporters of Catalonia’s independence protested against a visit to its regional capital, Barcelona, by Spain’s King Felipe VI on Sunday, as high-level efforts to ease tensions take hold a new impetus.
The King was in Barcelona to help mark the opening of a major international wireless show, called Mobile World Congress, which begins on Monday.
Demonstrations against the visits to Catalonia by the monarch, a symbol of Madrid’s power and who has criticized the separatist movements, are frequent.
But despite the stark and conflicting positions, recent developments have raised the possibility that senior officials may find a path to some degree of compromise. The scores turned out for Sunday’s protests – a far lower number than some protests in recent years.
Catalan regional president Pere Aragonès, who supports Catalan independence, is due to meet Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in Madrid on Tuesday. This will be their first meeting since Aragonès became regional chef at the start of the year.
The talks come exactly one week after Sánchez’s government pardoned nine Catalan separatists who were in prison over their attempts to separate their region from Spain.
The pardons were seen as a goodwill gesture by Sánchez as he seeks to make a breakthrough on an issue that has plagued Spain for decades.
Catalonia’s separatist movement, which is supported by around half of the region’s 7.5 million people, wants to create a republic for wealthy northeastern Spain.
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