One of the ships housing Spanish police to leave Barcelona’s port on Thursday

The officers living in the boat since September will be relocated to Catalan hotels

The GNV Azzurro in the Port of Tarragona by order of Spain (by Roger Segura)
The GNV Azzurro in the Port of Tarragona by order of Spain (by Roger Segura) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

November 14, 2017 01:00 PM

One of the cruise ships hosting Spanish police officers deployed in Catalonia will leave the port of Barcelona on Thursday. According to Spanish police sources, the ship that will leave is the one that’s decorated with Warner Brothers’ cartoon characters, called Moby Dada.  

The same sources have confirmed that the police officers who have lived on the ship since it arrived in Barcelona will be relocated to Catalan hotels.

The ship docked in Tarragona to leave this week

The ship housing Spain’s police docked in the Port of Tarragona will also leave this week, between Thursday and Friday, according to Port Authority sources. The ferry expanded its stay in the port, where it has been moored for almost two months postponing the date of its leaving four times. But this time, the stay will not be extended any longer.

Police operation, a ‘state secret’

The Spanish government has refused to provide information on the deployment of police officers in Catalonia. These agents have been in Catalonia since last September, before the October 1 referendum, and the exact amount of officers and the cost of the police operation have not yet been disclosed. According to El País newspaper, the Spanish government has classified the operation as a “state secret”.

Indeed, some lawmakers in the Spanish Congress have inquired about the operation, but the only response they received was that the Spanish Law of Official Secrets states that the “security plans of the institutions and public authorities” are classified as ‘private’, so they are not obliged to share information about it.

A 31.7 million euro operation

Despite the fact that the number of extra officers deployed in Catalonia and the total cost of the operations has not been disclosed, some media published that the Spanish Home Affairs ministry estimated that the deployment of officers from the end of September until October 5 would cost 31.7 million euros.

Deployed in Catalonia since September in order to stop the referendum

Mariano Rajoy’s cabinet decided to send thousands of police officers to Catalonia in the run-up to the October 1 referendum. The extra deployment of police officers was aimed at stopping the independence referendum

Their actions against voters with batons and tear gas on the day of the vote caused around 900 injuries, according to the Catalan Ministry of Health. The police officers have remained in Catalonia ever since.