16th October 2019
Felipe VI protest
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Protests against Felipe VI before MWC inauguration

Hundreds took to the streets in Barcelona late on Sunday to protest against the visit of Spain’s king, Felipe VI, who was inaugurating the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest trade fair for the mobile industry.

Demonstrators waved Catalan independence flags and burnt pictures of the monarch, an extremely unpopular figure in Catalonia.

Felipe VI protest
A protestor draped in the Catalan independence flag burns a photo of Felipe VI in Barcelona (Alex Recolons / via ACN)

While the protest started in front of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), where the king and other authorities attended the MWC’s inaugural dinner, demonstrators eventually moved to Plaça Espanya, where they blocked traffic in one of the city’s most crowded roundabouts.

ALSO READ: Banners against Felipe VI appear in Barcelona

Felipe’s most recent visits to Catalonia have sparked protests, with many criticising him for his TV speech on 3 October 2017, where he took on Catalan officials for holding an independence referendum deemed as illegal but made no mention to police violence against voters.

A recent survey by the Center of Opinion Studies (CEO) found that almost 80% of Catalans disapprove of King Felipe. On a scale of 10, some 60% of those surveyed gave him a 0.

ALSO READ: Felipe VI: ‘democracy not above respecting the law’

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