They are few in number, and have a marked political character, but there are voices that, from within Spain's police forces, denounce the campaign of the right and the extreme right in Catalonia. One was heard this Wednesday in the committee of the Spanish interior, in the Congress of Deputies, when the director general of the National Police, Francisco Pardo, answered MPs' questions. In particular, with Popular Party (PP) deputy Ana Vázquez, who was denouncing the "daily harassment" of police forces by the Catalan pro-independence groups. The head of the police body responded to the attack: "It is clear to everyone that social coexistence in Catalonia has improved significantly in the last three years, that is, it has improved since your party left the government."
In her questions, Ana Vázquez complained that the Spanish government is "permitting the harassment and abandonment of the police so as not to upset separatism." She used the withdrawal of a budgetted sum to finance the remodelling of the Via Laietana police station - as was agreed by Catalonia's ERC with the Spanish executive - to criticize the "complicity" of the left-wing coalition. "They are harassed every day. They have to enter through the back door so that they cannot be identified", claimed the PP deputy in reference to the central Barcelona police station, affirming that she has a cousin based at Via Laietana who is going to return to Galicia "because she can no longer stand the harassment". She took the opportunity to relate it to the language immersion case in the town of Canet: “It's not just this five-year-old boy. It's every day."
Far from agreeing with her, the director general of the National Police Force stated his regret that the PP had not “learned” from its mistakes and that it was spending “hours searching for or fabricating a daily apocalypse.” In this regard, Francisco Pardo criticized that “instead of working for social coexistence, they insist on looking for elements of confrontation” because “anything goes.” Addressing the MP, he called on the party, “if they love the police and the Civil Guard,” to stop making use of them for their partisan battles.
"Don't be prophets of catastrophe. You are intent on manufacturing an image of exceptionality in Catalonia as an electoral strategy, and that's how you go", insisted Francisco Pardo, who also refuted the deputy's arguments: "When you refer to harassment, are you referring to the police officers lodged at Pineda del Mar who had to take flight from their hotel when you were in power?” And he added with another barb: “Señora Ayuso is unbalancing all of you. Get back to the centre, because lately you are centred well beyond the right. The citizens want coexistence and dialogue."
Spanish police reinforcements in Catalonia
Beyond the attacks on the PP, the head of the Spanish National Police affirmed that the safety of the officers of his body and the Civil Guard is absolutely guaranteed, and that any possible case of harassment is investigated and referred to the courts if appropriate. He also recalled that the size of the police corps had increased by 23% and that the police relationship with Catalonia's Mossos d'Esquadra police, "which was broken", had now been restored. He concluded: "You should stop acting like arsonists and do your job like firefighters."