Catalan police to be incorporated into Spanish intelligence agency against terrorism
Mossos d'Esquadra to join body in less than a month after agreement reached on Thursday in Barcelona
The Catalan police force, Mossos d'Esquadra, is to be incorporated into Spain's Centre of Intelligence against Terrorism and Organized Crime (CITCO) within a month.
This is one of the main agreements reached by the Catalonia Security Summit between the Spanish and Catalan executives.
Following the agreement, a Mossos' agent will be permanently based at CITCO.
Until now, there have been technical problems impeding the body's integration, which have nearly been solved.
"It's an important step that shows the level of commitment of our ministry," said Spanish minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska in a joint press conference with his Catalan counterpart, Miquel Buch.
The summit also addressed the Catalan police's request to join international coordination bodies to share intelligence about terrorism and other major crimes, although no concrete steps were taken on that direction.
Catalonia suffered two terrorist attacks on August 17 and 18 last year, that saw 16 people dead and more than 100 injured.
Although the Catalan police were praised for their handling of the attacks and their aftermath, concerns have been raised over their lack of direct access to Spanish and international databases such as Europol.
Spanish agents' deployment
The Spanish minister said that people should not be "alarmed" by the deployment of hundreds of anti-riot Spanish police officers in Catalonia in the run up of the National Day. According to him, 2,000 agents are deployed when there is a big football match.
For his part, minister Buch said that Catalan police can and will handle security in the streets in the upcoming demonstrations and events without problems.
Both ministers also discussed the issue of yellow ribbons in public spaces. Grande-Marlaska said that the street should be "neutral" and "everyone" should feel represented, while Buch wondered why is there so much controversy over symbols in solidarity with "political prisoners" that have been present in the streets for more than eight months now.