Police in Barcelona are investigating an attack on Saturday against two women who were rallying support for the Spanish national soccer team at a stand in the city’s Sant Andreu neighborhood. The aim was to encourage Catalans to get behind Spain, who will be taking part in the month-long Euro 2016 tournament in France beginning on June 10.
The attack against the two women, who were part of an initiative called Barcelona con la Selección (Barcelona with the national side), was caught on camera by a passerby on Saturday afternoon and shows a group of five individuals punching and pushing the women to the ground at a busy intersection, calling them “Spaniards.” The two were treated by paramedics, but so far have not reported the incident.
The group of five individuals is seen punching and pushing the women to the ground at a busy intersection, calling them “Spaniards”
Barcelona con la Selección is a private initiative set up after Barcelona City Hall refused to provide open-air spaces with large screens to allow soccer fans to watch Euro 2016. Spain has won the competition on three occasions, the last two in 2008 and 2012.
Alberto Fernández Díaz, head of the conservative Popular Party in Barcelona City Hall, condemned the attacks, calling for an end to “intimidation,” and requesting the authorities provide open-air coverage of Spain’s matches “in the same way other Spanish cities will be.”
Carlos Carrizosa, the spokesman for Ciudadanos in the Catalan regional parliament, demanded that the regional government “intervene to prevent the increase in these episodes of violence and intimidation against people who do not support independence.”
Catalonia has been battling with the central government in Madrid over recent years to hold a referendum on independence, something that the Popular Part government of Mariano Rajoy fiercely opposes.
Sign up for newsletter
EL PAÍS English Edition has launched a weekly newsletter. Sign up today to receive a selection of our best stories in your inbox every Saturday morning. For full details about how to subscribe, click here.
English version by Nick Lyne.