EU summit back on despite fears of violence

10th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

11 October 2006, BARCELONA — A European Union conference which was called off after security fears is to be re-scheduled later on in November.

11 October 2006

BARCELONA — A European Union conference which was called off after security fears is to be re-scheduled later on in November.

Joan Rangel, Catalan regional government spokesman, said the date had not been fixed yet.

But he played down claims it had been suspended for fear of street violence by radical groups.

The okupas, an anarchist group which stages impromptu squats of empty buildings and protests about the cost of housing, is one of the anti-globalization groups based in the city.

Housing minister Maria Antonia Trujillo decided to suspend the EU housing ministers conference which was to have taken place on 16-17 October in the city.

Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, interior minister, said in the run-up to the 1 November Catalan regional government elections, radical groups might seize on the conference to stage violent protests.

He said: "In matters of security it is better to prevent than to cure."

According to the Spanish daily, El Periódico de Catalunya, security experts had advised against staging the conference at this time.

Last week, masked okupas fired missiles at the Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona using a makeshift bazooka.

Two people were arrested.

It is the not the first time anti-globalisation protesters have staged violent protests in Barcelona.

In 2002, there were protests at the Council of Europe meeting and in 2005, during the EuroMed conference, about 1,000 people staged similar protests.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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