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Catalan president Quim Torra and Barcelona mayor Ada Colau have walked out of a hall that Spanish king Felipe VI had just entered, in order to avoid having to formally greet the monarch on his arrival at Barcelona's MNAC museum, venue for the inauguration dinner of the Mobile World Congress 2019.

Torra, wearing a large yellow ribbon on his lapel, arrived for the Sunday night dinner half an hour before the Spanish monarch and spent some time speaking with the rest of the dignitaries present, among them Spanish government ministers Nadia Calviño, Meritxell Batet and Pedro Duque.

President Torra, along with the Catalan minister for digital policy, Jordi Puigneró, had entered the MNAC via the official entrance. Ada Colau, mayor of Barcelona city, was also present, accompanied by city councillor Jordi Martí.

All four left the hall at the moment the monarch arrived. The remaining dignitaries who were to receive the Spanish king formed a line to carry out the formal greeting of the king.

Torra and Colau went through to the space where the pre-dinner aperitif was to be held. Felipe VI was also led through to this lounge after the initial reception and, according to royal family sources, it was there that the two Catalan political figures did greet the monarch normally, first the city mayor and then the Catalan president.