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Archive for Spain

Newsline: Ousted Catalan leader Puigdemont ‘considering copying Assange and seeking embassy refuge’

Spain’s media are speculating “desperate” ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont may do a “Julian Assange” and try to seek refuge in a friendly embassy in Brussels. The Wikileaks founder has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than five years after successfully claiming diplomatic asylum once inside. Puigdemont, currently staying at a £61-a-night hotel in the Belgium capital, is facing the threat of arrest and extradition if as expected he snubs a court summons in Madrid to answer accusations of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement. His Belgian lawyer Paul Bekeart has claimed he will not return to Spain, claiming he “prefers to observe and wait” after Puigdemont’s insistence he was unlikely to get a fair trial if he heads back to Barcelona without “guarantees.” Spanish media claimed the 54-year-old dad-of-two could seek safe haven in a sympathetic embassy in Belgium or elsewhere to avoid immediate incarceration if he is forced back to Madrid, financial ruin and a possible 30 year jail sentence if convicted of rebellion.



Newsline: Greek government in spat with Spain’s ambassador over Catalonia

Greece called on Spain’s ambassador to Athens on Sunday to rescind statements to a Greek newspaper suggesting that Athens was not supportive of Spanish unity, revealing strains between the European Union partners over a Catalan independence drive. “It is with surprise that we note the comments made by the ambassador of friend and ally Spain, criticising publicly the Greek government,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement. EU leaders, wary of encouraging separatists across the bloc, have largely backed the Madrid government during a deepening political crisis which culminated last week in the Catalan parliament voting to unilaterally declare the region’s independence from Spain. The Spanish Ambassador to Greece, Enrique Viguera, was quoted in Sunday’s Eleftheros Typos newspaper as saying that while he had clear assurances of support for Spanish unity from Greece’s conservative opposition and from President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the same was not true of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s left-wing government. On Saturday, Greece, through its government spokesman, said it fully supported Spain’s territorial integrity and cohesion as well as any initiative to restore democratic dialogue in the framework of Spain’s constitution. The Foreign Ministry accused the ambassador of “insulting Greece’s constitution” by suggesting that the country’s president did not speak for the government.


Newsline: Libya seeks prompt return of Spanish embassy

Libya’s UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj called for a prompt return of the Spanish Embassy in Libya to resume its mission. According to the prime minister’s media office, Serraj made the remarks during the accreditation of the new Spanish Ambassador to Libya Francisco de Miguel. “Serraj expressed hope that the Spanish embassy would resume its work in the capital Tripoli as soon as possible, stressing that the ambassador’s exercise of his duties in Tripoli will have a positive impact on the development of relations between Libya and Spain,” the media office said. Embassies of Netherlands, Hungary and South Korea in Libya returned to Tripoli last week after more than three years of closure due to deteriorating security conditions in the country. Most foreign embassies and missions left Tripoli in July 2014, following the outbreak of violent clashes between rival armed groups, which created the current political division in the country.


Newsline: Spanish Embassy workers will join worldwide strike on Monday

The local workers at the Spanish Embassy in Israel will join the world wide strike on Monday of the foreign public service employees for higher wages. There has not been a raise in wages in 10 years and the cost of living has continually increased especially in Tel Aviv. Spain has been in an economic crisis and austerity measures have been placed so salary increases to employees were sidelined. However, the strikers believe the government wastes money and is fully capable of a cost of living increase.


Newsline: Greek Group Holds Sit-In at Spanish Embassy

Police say a Greek anarchist group is staging a sit-in protest at the Spanish embassy in Athens. In a posting on a left-wing website, the Rubicon group said Wednesday’s protest was held to protest the Spanish police crackdown on the Catalan independence referendum. The group added, however, that it does not support Catalan independence. The group has staged a series of brief, peaceful invasions at the offices of state institutions, political parties and private corporations to protest policies it disagrees with. Greek left-wing groups have expressed support for Catalonia’s independence drive, holding a peaceful protest at the Spanish embassy last week.


Newsline: Embassy of Spain evacuated in Moscow due to bomb scare

The Embassy of Spain in Moscow is being evacuated after an anonymous phone call, an emergency services official told TASS. The embassy employees are being currently evacuated, and specialist officers with sniffer dogs are expected to arrive. Earlier on Tuesday, about 20 facilities were “mined.” All facilities are being checked now. No explosives were found. Russia has seen a surge of hoax bomb threats at schools, universities, shopping malls and administrative facilities since September 11. Information about bombs allegedly planted in mass gathering places has not been confirmed, but thousands of people have been evacuated due to explosion threat.


Newsline: Spain expels North Korean ambassador over nuclear stance

Spain ordered North Korea’s ambassador to leave the country by September 30 in protest over Pyongyang’s nuclear tests, which it has criticised as “a serious threat to peace”. “The ambassador of North Korea DPRK in Spain has been declared persona non grata,” the foreign ministry said on its English twitter account. The ministry added on its Spanish account that the ambassador has until the end of the month to leave the country. In late August, Spain had warned that Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes “create a serious threat to peace in the region and to global security,” saying they “would have consequences on bilateral relations”. The ambassador was also summoned to Madrid at the time and told to reduce the number of diplomatic staff, which include an ambassador and two diplomats, according to a foreign ministry spokeswoman. The North Korean embassy opened in 2014.