Catalonia defies Madrid’s attempt to take over local police, as chief refuses to comply
Published time: 23 Sep, 2017 18:44
Edited time: 24 Sep, 2017 02:55
Spain’s central government plan to take direct control over the local police force in the autonomous region of Catalonia in a bid to halt the upcoming independence referendum, faced staunch resistance, with local officials denouncing it as “intervention attempt.”
On Saturday, the chief of the Catalan police, Jose Maria Romero de Tejada, was informed that both he and his officers have to answer to the Civil Guard and Interior Ministry commander Colonel Diego Perez de los Cobos. The Catalan police, Madrid claims, have not been complying with their instructions to clear protesters away from government buildings. Although de Tejada remains formally in charge, he must now take orders from Colonel Cobos, who has already deployed additional National Police and Civil Guard forces into the autonomous region.
However, Catalonia’s Interior Minister, Joaquim Forn, condemned the move as an attempt by the federal forces to hijack the local police force.