The pro-independence protests against the Spanish-French summit held in Barcelona have received significant international media coverage. Prominent media have reported it and some highlight the baton charges by the Mossos police in Ronda de Sant Pere, although they acknowledge that they were not comparable with some incidents in 2017 or 2019.
UK daily The Times
British newspaper The Times stated in a report published on the occasion of the Franco-Spanish summit, that Catalan independence leaders "raised the flag again" coinciding with the summit meeting. The newspaper points out that the political atmosphere in Catalonia remains rarified, as shown in its opinion that while the president of the ERC party, Oriol Junqueras, was able to attend the pro-independence demonstration, former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont "remains in exile in Belgium". "A little more than five years after [the declaration of independence], an air of political stagnation hangs over Catalonia," it says. The daily asserts that the pro-independence demonstration sought to demonstrate "to the Spanish government and the international community that the pro-independence movement is divided and weakened, but it is not dead".
Plans are afoot to overshadow tomorrow’s meeting between Spain’s prime minister and France’s president with a mass protest https://t.co/y1aogR1I3n— The Times and The Sunday Times (@thetimes) January 18, 2023
US agency Associated Press
The leading US press agency Associated Press stated that there was a "brief scuffle between protesters and police" in the centre of Barcelona, referring to the charges that the Mossos police made in Ronda de Sant Pere, where one of them hit the vice-president of the ANC pro-independence group, Jordi Pesarrodona, in the leg. "But the moments of tension were a far cry from the widespread and violent clashes seen in past years," it said. According to the Associated Press, "Sánchez has spent considerable political capital in defusing the independence movement, with pardons for imprisoned leaders of a failed secession bid in 2017 and recent legal reforms. While this has succeeded in reducing tensions in Catalonia, there is still a hardcore group that refuses to go away," it reports.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez signed a friendship treaty in Barcelona on Thursday to strengthen relations between the European neighbors, as both leaders faced protests on their home fronts. https://t.co/gVs9ETs2nf— Drogon (@drogon_dracarys) January 19, 2023
The US television network Fox stated that the Spanish PM, Pedro Sánchez, in his role as host of the summit, had to endure a "nosy rally by Catalan independence supporters" near where the meeting was held. "Some thousands of Catalan independence supporters gathered along a wide promenade at the foot of Montjuïc to try to energize their flagging movement which seeks a new state in this corner of northeastern Spain that borders France. The sound of distant jeers could be heard from afar as Macron and Sánchez reviewed Spanish soldiers, before the national anthems played on arrival. In the north of Barcelona, protesters blocked traffic on a motorway," it indicated
French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez sign friendship treaty in Barcelona https://t.co/xeyiMuF3DK— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) January 19, 2023
British agency Reuters
The British agency Reuters reported the number of demonstrators estimated by the Barcelona city police, 6,500, which contrasts with the 30,000 of the organizers. "Some 6,500 Catalan pro-independence activists protested in front of the museum where the summit took place against Sánchez's position on independence, according to police estimates." "Since taking power in 2018, the Socialist leader Sánchez has taken a conciliatory approach to the pro-independence movement of the north-eastern community after the 2017 pro-independence push triggered one of Spain's biggest political crises in decades.Catalonia's regional leader, Pere Aragones, greeted Sánchez and Macron ahead of the summit, but left before the anthems of the two countries played," it explained.
The United States' efforts to boost green technology should not imply dismantling Europe's industry, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Thursday after signing a new bilateral treaty with French President Emmanuel Macron in Barcelona https://t.co/mzj7IugIic— Joan Faus (@joanfaus) January 19, 2023
Germany daily ND
The German newspaper ND states that the Barcelona summit was considered "a provocation" by many Catalan peopleand also recalls that Catalonia has one part under Spanish administration and another under French administration. "The Social Democrat Sánchez increased the discomfort even more when he told Congress in December "the process is over" in allusion to the pro-independence process that boiled over in 2017 in particular. The newspaper recalls that "there are still political exiles" like the president-in-exile, Carles Puigdemont, and there are still pending legal cases against 500 people. "A total of 4,000 people are affected by legal proceedings and some face prison terms of up to 13 years," it adds.
#Katalonien demonstriert gegen spanisch-französischen Gipfel in #Barcelona#CimeraHispanoFrancesa #cimera #Unabhängigkeitsbewegung ruft gemeinsam zu Protesten auf, aber Regierungschef Aragonès aus dem eigenen Lager versucht Spagat@ndaktuell @ndpolitik https://t.co/M9txoAdBpi— Ralf Streck 🎗🌹 (@ralf_streck) January 19, 2023
Germany daily Telepolis
German newspaper Telepolis asserted that "tens of thousands" of pro-independence protesters rallied against the summit. "Sánchez was not able to meet with Macron calmly in the Catalan metropolis, because tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Barcelona. The major ANC group had made a call for people to come wearing yellow vests, on the one hand to commemorate the successes of this movement to rebuke Macron, and also to show solidarity with the new protests in France." "Nothing ends here!, was the slogan of the demonstration, and the ANC, the great cultural organization Òmnium and the Council of the Republic were the groups that called the protest", it explains.
Zehntausende demonstrieren gegen spanisch-französischen Gipfel in Barcelona https://t.co/WRksd6yZUz #Demonstration #EmmanuelMacron— Telepolis (@telepolis_news) January 19, 2023