Spanish State claims it has 4 000 extra officers available within 24 hours to stop Catalan independence referendum

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

Members of the Police Intervention Unit and the Guardia Civil Backup Group are at the ready

The Spanish Government has warned that it can still apply Article 155 [TN : by which it can suspend the Catalan government] before the referendum. The Spanish government is intensifying the threats and last Tuesday stated that it would be able to reinforce the units provided to guarantee that the independence referendum will not take place with 4000 agents of the Police and the Guardia Civil, within 24 hours. This has been confirmed to Europa Press by sources in the know.

The Spanish Ministry of the Interior has a plan to add the 4 000 agents to the 6000 already posted in Catalonia, should they consider it necessary in order to avoid the referendum on 1st October in compliance with court orders.

According to the same sources, the officers a mainly members of the Police Intervention Unit (UIP) of the Spanish National Police and of the Guardia Civil Security Backup. They could also muster a further 4000 officers within 36 hours of the order. They could also be used to avoid ballot boxes to be distributed.

“The referendum is a means, and what must be avoided is any kind of dispute between radical groups and the State police forces which might cover up the failure of the referendum,” stated the sources quoted by Europa Press. The police reinforcements will include setting up a safety cordon of State buildings and organizations in Catalonia.

This is why there is about a hundred members of the Police Intervention Unit extra who are reinforcing the current riot police. The same sources state that “up until now, the arrival from abroad of antiestablishment groups has not been detected, which might threaten public order in Barcelona, but the ministry of the interior is maintaining contact with intelligence services from other countries and is monitoring the social networks on a daily basis”.