Barcelona ordered to pull plug on yellow lights supporting Catalan activists
BARCELONA city council has been ordered to stop bathing public fountains in yellow light after Spain’s electoral authority ruled that the colour suggested support for Catalan separatists in the run-up to regional elections.
The Dec 21 election was called by Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister, after his government had applied direct rule in Catalonia for declaring independence.
About 20 fountains across Barcelona have been glowing yellow after the council voted on Nov 15 to include signs of support for 10 jailed pro-independence politicians and activists in the city’s Christmas lighting programme.
When two Catalan activists were jailed in October on suspicion of sedition, independence supporters took to wearing yellow ribbons. This month, eight members of the ousted Catalan government were also remanded in custody by a Madrid judge who accused them of rebellion in connection with the illegal referendum on Oct 1.
Representatives from Mr Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP) in Barcelona took the fountain issue to the Electoral Council. Yesterday it was decided that the choice of lighting was akin to supporting a specific political option, and not a mere show of solidarity as the council led by Ada Colau, its Left-wing mayor, had claimed.
“It’s ridiculous that there are parties who think they can restore democratic normality by changing the colour of a fountain when there are people in prison who should be out campaigning,” said Laia Ortiz, the council’s social rights spokesman.