These sources explained that at least 150 agents of the Civil Guard Rapid Action Group (RAG) are in a hangar in El Prat, one of the airports with the largest air traffic in Spain, in anticipation that groups related to independence might fulfill their threat to take control of infrastructure like airports, ports and borders.
The GAR has as its mission to lead the team that will reinforce the security of the control tower and the air traffic control center of El Prat airport, according to the aforementioned sources. GAR is one of the most prestigious units in the country, formerly deployed against the Basque separatists, ETA. The unit is specialized in carrying out operations that involve great risk and require a rapid response.
Interior Ministry sources consulted by Europa Press have reiterated the government’s commitment to halt the unilateral declaration of independence, “without ruling out any measure within the rule of law”. Regarding police reinforcement, they insist that no deadline has been set. “It will be as long as necessary,” they say.
The Secretary of State for Security of the Ministry of the Interior, José Antonio Nieto, visited Civil Guard agents at the Sant Climent Sescebes military base in Alto Ampurdán (Girona) on Thursday. He greeted the agents of the Rapid Action Group (RAG) and the Reserve and Security Association (ARS), to whom he expressed his “appreciation and admiration”.
The minister did the same on Wednesday visiting the policemen lodged in boats moored in the Port of Barcelona. “We have been told that we can not leave here,” explained police sources. Some 4 000 agents had arrived in Catalonia before the start of the month to reinforce the workforce of almost 6 000 law enforcement agents in this autonomous region.
On Thursday, CUP deputy Eulàlia Reguant explained how to control ports and airports to make the independence of Catalonia effective. The president of the independence movement, the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, said in an interview on the BBC that he would proclaim the Catalan Republic at the end of next week. Minutes earlier, the King of Spain had promised the “legitimate powers of the state to ensure constitutional order”.
The independence party, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) has reflected in its documents in recent years that the declaration of independence of Catalonia would have to follow actions that show the exercise of sovereignty as the takeover of large infrastructure, including borders, ports and airports, as well as public safety and communications.
A road map which stated that effective control of Catalonia will facilitate international recognition, have therefore called on separatists to work “jointly with the other actors of the process” to to make this sovereignty effective. In that document, concrete actions such as taking control of ports, airports and communications on the same day of the declaration of independence, could go ahead.
The Ministry of Defense moved logistic material to Catalonia such as bunk beds, kitchens, showers and lockers by order. To this end, the Logistic Support Group No. 41 of the Army has been used, based in San Jorge (Zaragoza). The material is destined to the barracks Santa Eulalia, in Sant Boi de Llobregat (Barcelona).