Express.co.uk – Spain sends in ARMY to Catalonia as it pushes region to brink over referendum.SPAIN has sent two convoys of troops into Catalonia in a move that is likely to anger the regional parliament.
Troops from the Logistic Support Group 41 (AALOG 41) who are based in Aragon were told of their move at about 7pm last night.The exact number of soldiers is not known but according to the newspaper El Confidencial, two contingents of troops are being sent in 20 trucks.It is understood their orders are to provide logistical support to the Guardia Civil and national police still stationed in the region.
The appearance of troops is likely to be seen as highly controversial as the President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont has previously referred to the presence of the Guardia Civil and national police as “occupying forces” and had said they should leave all four of the Catalan provinces immediately.
The troops are believed to have been stationed at the barracks in Santa Eulalia de Sant Boi de Llobregat, a few miles from Barcelona.Group 41 provides support services and maintenance as well as workshop units and have previously been deployed in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan.The move comes after about 150 members of the Guardia Civil were forced to leave their hotel accommodation in the coastal town of Calella on Monday after a protest by locals over what they say was police brutality during the referendum vote on independence that had been banned by Madrid.
Catalans on the streets of Barcelona during the general strike
Monserrat Candini, the mayor of the town, told a group of 500 protestors: “We don’t want the hotels in Calella to be a barracks.”