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Spain has forced the firing of Greece's honorary consul to Barcelona, Fernando Turró, according to Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell. Diplomatic sources suggest that the motives for the move are two events the consul took part in: a December 2017 event with the president in exile, Carles Puigdemont, and the huge protest on this year's Diada, the Catalan National Day, where he wore the official t-shirt. The Spanish "Introducer of Ambassadors", Caridad Batalla, last week summoned the Greek ambassador, Christodoulos J. Lazaris, who accepted the firing.

Borrell accused the consul "of offending the flag of the Spanish state in the street". It appears he was being metaphorical, as there is no record of Turró making any literal diplomatic act against the flag. "An ordinary citizen can do whatever they want, because we have freedom of expression in this country so broad that it allows for burning the national flag or an image of the king. But a consul can't, and if I find out about what they've done, I call the ambassador and ask them to fire them, but sometimes it's not necessary because the ambassador has found out and does it themselves," he said.

The minister was responding to ERC deputy Laura Castell Fort, who had criticised the firing of honorary consuls in Catalonia for their support of or friendliness with the independence movement.

Fifth firing

This isn't the first time that Spain has forced the firing of an honorary consul in Catalonia for not agreeing with them on the clash in Catalonia. It is the first time, however, for the new PSOE government. Mariano Rajoy's former PP government had in recent years ended the service of four consuls: from Finland, the Philippines, Latvia and Bulgaria.