Ignasi Jorro 3/17/2021
Ada Colau, chairing the meeting with the consular body of Barcelona yesterday / AJBCN
Warning of the consular body of Barcelona to the city council for two reasons: the insecurity in the streets and the disturbances due to the protests after the imprisonment of rapper Pablo Hasél. The diplomatic representatives demanded yesterday from the municipal government team more protection for their citizens in a closed-door meeting. The consistory responded that it has launched “the greatest promotion of the Urban Guard in history” and that it has coordinated with the Mossos d’Esquadra to tackle the problems.
This is explained by diplomatic sources in conversation with this medium. The consuls were summoned yesterday by the mayor Ada Colau, the first deputy mayor, Jaume Collboni, and Laia Bonet, councilor for International Relations. The reason for the meeting was to address the “current situation and future challenges”. This is what happened, except for the questions asked by those present at the end of the meeting, which changed the sign of the meeting.
“Worried about insecurity”
It is told by people present at the meeting, who report that consuls such as the one for the Netherlands took advantage of their turn to speak – there were not many interventions, less than half a dozen – to demand greater protection for the citizens of the Central European state “because there are several national companies in Barcelona”.
The consul’s concern was shared by several colleagues, but not by Lin Nan, representative of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Barcelona. “She remained silent, despite the precedents”, explain the sources consulted. The precedents are the violent death of a Chinese citizen by stabbing earlier this year and the death of another young of the same nationality in the Olympic Port in 2019. After both events, the consulate recommended to its citizens in Barcelona that they take measures to “protect themselves” and even made a complaint to the Mossos.
Más Guardia Urbana
More Urban Guard
Far from remaining silent, the three councilors present defended the municipal actions against the crime rebound in the city, now tempered by the pandemic. The local government team cited the “greatest promotion of Guardia Urbana numbers in history”, which will result, according to them, in a greater police presence in the streets. In the chapter of the disturbances after the protests for Hasél, the councilors defended the work of the Mossos d’Esquadra and the “coordination” that the Urban Guard has with this autonomous security body.
The exchange between consuls and local administration for safety in the streets of Barcelona is not new. Diplomatic legations such as China, yes, but also other powers such as the United States issued recommendations in the past to exercise extreme caution in visits to Barcelona. It happened, especially, after the security crisis of 2019, when a South Korean high officer died during a robbery on the street.