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Catalan border controls strengthened ahead of Puigdemont’s debate

Several police vehicles set a control and even searched some cars, including their trunks

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26 January 2018 01:44 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish police strengthened the border controls between Catalonia and France on Friday. Several police vehicles set up a checkpoint in the old barracks at La Jonquera, on the AP-7 highway, and searched vehicles - including the trunks. In the morning, a number of the Spanish police and Guardia civil corps officers patrolled the area. 

The Spanish government has pledged to do everything in its power to stop Carles Puigdemont, currently in Belgium, from being sworn in as president in Parliament. The strengthening of border controls came only three days after Mariano Rajoy’s Home Affairs minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, announced an operation to prevent Puigdemont from returning to Catalonia and making it to the Parliament before being arrested.

In an interview, Zoido stressed that “the border to cover is large”, as “not only are there main ways of crossing it, but also country roads.” In addition, he said that Puigdemont “could enter the country by helicopter, an ultralight aircraft, or a ship.” “We’ll try to prevent him getting into the Parliament, even inside the trunk of a car,” he added. Currently, the Spanish Supreme Court has an arrest warrant in effect against Puigdemont on Spanish soil, while it withdrew an equivalent warrant at an EU level. 

  • “We’ll try to prevent him getting into the Parliament, even inside the trunk of a car”

    Juan Ignacio Zoido · Spanish Home Affairs minister

Spanish police asks for information in an aerodrome

These days, police operations go further than the strengthening of border controls. The Spanish Guardia Civil also went to the Sant Fruitós de Bages aerodrome to find out if Carles Puigdemont could land there, in his possible return to Catalonia. It happened on Sunday.  

According to the director of SkyDiveBCN Saltamos center, Xavi Serra, a total of eight Spanish officers arrived at the facilities of the center and asked them about the track length and the characteristics of the aerodrome.

Serra said that the Spanish officers never mentioned Carles Puigdemont, but admitted that “it is not usual” that a large group of Spanish Guardia Civil officers come to the aerodrome. "Even though officers visit us regularly, it is true that, lately, the frequency of the visits has risen and it is not usual that they come with a van,” he added.

Some sources also stated that there is more police presence in the Ciutadella Park, where the Catalan Parliament is located.  

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  • A police officer searches a car (by Gemma Tubert)

  • A police officer searches a car (by Gemma Tubert)

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