Slogans against Catalan independence have been spray-painted onto the Belgium Consulate in Barcelona, Spain, to denounce the presence in Belgium of the region’s former president, Carles Puigdemont. The Belgian Foreign Ministry confirmed the incident on Tuesday afternoon without giving further details. The consulate remained open and the graffiti was being erased.
The front of the building and the ground in front of it were sprayed with slogans in red and black paint, such as: “Puigdemont in prison”, “Belgium, refuge of delinquents” and “Belgium, complicit with separatism”.
The slogans were signed “The Phalange”, the name of an extreme right party absolutely opposed to the separation of Catalonia from Spain.
Many pro-independence organisations have complained that their headquarters have been similarly vandalized by the extreme right, the Spanish daily Vanguardia reported. The daily wrote, however, that it was the first time the Belgian consulate in the Catalan capital was targeted.
The Spanish justice authorities want to try Puigdemont for organizing a banned referendum on Catalonia’s independence in October 2017. The secessionist leader fled to Belgium to draw the attention of Europe’s institutions to the case of his region and currently lives in Waterloo.