The Ministry of the Interior prepares itself to avoid having the Catalan Government take control of strategic facilities following a declaration of independence.
Special Operations Agents of the State’s security forces are heading towards strategic infrastructures in Catalonia such as El Prat airport, according to Police sources. At least 150 GAR (Quick Action Group) Civil Guard agents are located in El Prat, one of the State’s busiest airports, foreseeing the possibility that independence related groups take measures to control large infrastructures such as airports, ports and frontiers, as CUP Deputy Eulàlia Reguant asserted to NacióDigital.
The Civil Guard’s GAR has a mission, according to the sources cited, to lead the team which will reinforce the control tower’s security and the air transit control centre of El Prat airport. In fact, GAR is specialised in executing high risk operations that require immediate action.
Sources from the Ministry of the Interior have reiterated the compromise the Spanish Government has to put an end to the unilateral declaration of independence, “without discarding any measure within the rule of law.” As for police reinforcement, they insist that no deadline has been established: They sustain, “reinforcements will be there for as long as necessary.” Likewise, the Ministry of the Interior’s State Security Secretary, José Antonio Nieto visited GAR Civil Guard agents last Thursday, as well as the Reserve and Security Group (ARS), to whom he expressed his “gratitude and admiration.”
Up to 10,000 State police
The Minister also visited the police on board the ships moored in the Port of Barcelona. “We have been told they cannot leave,” say police officials, as high ranking authorities of the Ministry of the Interior resume their visits. Around 4,000 agents have been posted in Barcelona before October 1st, to support the almost 6,000 agents already present. Besides Eulàlia Reguant’s declarations, the ANC has expressed throughout these last years that after the declaration of independence, the practice of sovereignty should entail the control of large infrastructures, frontiers, ports and airports, as well as public safety and communications.
Photograph: The control tower of Terminal 1, El Prat airport. Photo by Ara.cat