Marlaska: Police to keep powers in Catalonia, unions wary of migration and amnesty deals

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News Team

On October 27, 2023, the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and the Director General of the Police, Francisco Pardo, attended the inauguration of the renovated headquarters of the National Police station of the Central District of Madrid, in Spain. This police station is the largest in Spain and one of the largest in the entire European Union. The renovation of these facilities has been carried out after a comprehensive rehabilitation of 15 months and an investment of 6.6 million euros. Among the main improvements to the space, the complete remodeling of the public service lobby and the creation of a new children’s area and a room for vulnerable complainants stand out. Also, the air conditioning and ventilation systems have been renewed, façades rehabilitated and the capacity of the garages has been expanded.

The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, reiterated before the National Police unions that the Government does not contemplate them losing their powers in immigration control or the fight against irregular immigration in Catalonia. The union organizations have maintained their misgivings about the agreement with Junts on immigration matters and also about the precedent of the amnesty law. They demand that the police officers who are still under judicial investigation be defended for confronting the 1-O referendum and the protests of independence supporters after the ruling against the leaders of the ‘procés’.

At the meeting of the Plenary Session of the National Police Council, Grande-Marlaska referred to the words of the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, recalling that expulsions and border control are the exclusive matter of the General Administration of the State and cannot be delegated, although it has opened up to transferring others regarding initial employment authorizations and integration policies. After the validation of the decree laws with the abstention of Junts, leaders of this party led by Carles Puigdemont justified an agreement on the transfer in immigration matters by pointing out that Catalonia could decide on the expulsion of repeat migrants in Catalonia or to regulate this matter taking into account aspects such as language.

After the meeting with Grande-Marlaska, the unions have indicated that they will continue to be “vigilant” regarding the negotiations that may be opened regarding migration. They have also expressed their doubts with the scope of the amnesty law, demanding that the work of the police officers who defended legality in Catalonia against the independence referendum of 2017 be publicly supported.

Since the general elections and the investiture of Pedro Sánchez as president of the Government, the majority of the Police unions – and also associations of the Civil Guard – have criticized what they describe as “dismantling of the State” in Catalonia, since they fear their expulsion from this autonomous community, as well as from the Basque Country and Navarre. According to the unions, at this Monday’s meeting it was announced that in fifteen days the negotiation of the working day will be resumed, as well as other issues such as the new decorations law.

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