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Ibtm world to go ahead despite Barcelona unrest

Ongoing brinkmanship between Spain and Catalonia will not affect trade show says organisers

Pictured: Police have clashed with voters in Barcelona over the Catalonia independence referendum

Ibtm world is set to go ahead as planned in Barcelona next month despite unrest in the wake of the Catalonia independence referendum, organisers have said.

More than 850 people were injured in the Catalan capital and ibtm world host city as riot police raided polling stations in a bid to stop the referendum, which was declared illegal by a Spanish court. The clashes saw police seizing ballot boxes, forcibly removing voters and firing rubber bullets at crowds.

In the days since, Barcelona has held a general strike in response to police violence and the Catalan government is expected to declare its independence following the ballot, in which they claim 90 per cent of people voted for a split from Spain.

However, Kerry Prince, portfolio director at ibtm events, said that ibtm world would go ahead as planned despite the unrest.

She said “Ibtm world will go ahead as planned, in Barcelona, from 28-30 November. We are saddened by the events in Spain and continue to work closely with the venue, local and national authorities to identify risks, assess them and to develop and evolve security plans according to the circumstances and advice received. The safety and security of staff and attendees at ibtm world remains our top priority.”

The Foreign Office is not advising against travelling to Barcelona, but does ask travellers to exercise caution.

It said: “Demonstrations have taken place in Barcelona and other areas of the Catalonia region and may continue for some days.

“They may occur with little or no warning and even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can escalate and turn confrontational. You should exercise caution if you’re in the vicinity.

“Demonstrations may also cause some disruption and delays to transport services. There have been calls for strike action which may also affect local services over the immediate period.”

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