Spanish police “inusual operation” around Catalan Parliament, warns chamber president
Roger Torrent expresses “discomfort” to Spanish home affairs minister for not being informed of the move ahead of Puigdemont’s investiture
The Catalan Parliament president, Roger Torrent, expressed “discomfort” to the Spanish Home Affairs minister for the “inusual operation” the Spanish police has in place in the area surrounding the Catalan chamber in Barcelona. In a letter to the Spanish Home Affairs minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, Torrent complained about not being informed of the operation and asked him for details. "No communication has been received informing of these measures, nor the reasons to justify this unprecedented display," the letter reads.
He also told him to guarantee that this extra presence of officers will not “disturb the normal working of the chamber.” Indeed, the operation around the Catalan Parliament was settled at the beginning of this week, as the speculation about a potential return of Carles Puigdemont on time for the Catalan investiture (called for next Tuesday) started to grow. The higher number of Spanish police officers also coincided with the remarks made by Zoido on Tuesday against Puigdemont’s possible return.
"No communication has been received informing of these measures, nor the reasons to justify this unprecedented display"
Roger Torrent · Catalan Parliament president
Zoido: “We’ll try to prevent him getting into the Parliament, even inside the trunk of a car”
Indeed, he pledged to do everything in his power to stop Carles Puigdemont from being sworn in as president in the Catalan Parliament. “The border to cover is large, not only are there main ways of crossing it, but also country roads. He could enter the country by helicopter, an ultralight aircraft, a ship,” said Zoido. “We’ll try to prevent him getting into the Parliament, even inside the trunk of a car.” On Saturday the Spanish Home Affairs minister said that he would immediately answer to Torrent’s letter for “institutional loyalty.”
Border controls strengthened
The operation near the Catalan chamber is not the only evidence of Zoido’s commitment with his pledge. The Spanish police strengthened the border controls between Catalonia and France on Friday. Several police vehicles set up a checkpoint in the old barracks at La Jonquera, on the AP-7 highway, and searched vehicles - including the trunks. On Friday morning, a number of the Spanish police and Guardia civil corps officers patrolled the area.
Spanish police officers in an aerodrome
Last Sunday, the Spanish Guardia Civil also went to an aerodrome in central Catalonia to find out if Carles Puigdemont could land there, in his possible return to Catalonia. According to the director of SkyDiveBCN Saltamos center, Xavi Serra, a total of eight Spanish officers arrived at the facilities of the center and asked them about the track length and the characteristics of the aerodrome.