Catalonia referendum: Now Spanish NAVY arrives in Barcelona ahead of historic declaration

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
By Paul Martin

THE Spanish navy has sent three ships from its fleet to Barcelona as the crisis in Catalonia continues.

By JON ROGERS
Express.co.uk
Tue, Oct 10, 2017

The frigate Navarra as well as the minesweepers Segura and Sella docked at Barcelona’s Port Vell earlier today.

Officially the arrival of the boats is because they are taking part in the Saló Nàutic (Barcelona International Boat Show) which starts on October 11 but the move comes amid heightened tensions in the north east region with the Catalonia President Carles Puigdemont poised to possibly declare independence later today.

The Spanish navy has previously participated in the International Boat Show for many years, which runs between October 11-15 but the appearance of the F-85 frigate in Barcelona’s Port Vell is likely to raise eyebrows due to the timing of events.

The Navarra is part of the 41st Escorted Squadron and based in Cadiz, according to Defensa.com.

The ship is 137.7m long, carries a crew of 200 and includes around a dozen members of the Spanish Marine Corps.

It comes equipped with four Browning M2 12.70mm machine guns.

Last year, the show saw the presence of two minesweepers, Tambre and Turia.

The show is also expected to receive a visit from the Spanish Navy’s Chief of Staff, General Admiral Teodoro López Calderón.

Port Vell is under the direct control of the Spanish state rather than Catalonia.

The deployment of the ships in the port comes along side two liners already docked there that are currently housing members of the Guardia Civil that used batons and rubber bullets on Catalans who were attempting to vote in the controversial independence referendum which was deemed to be illegal according to Madrid which was backed by the Constitutional Court.

Nearly 900 people were injured during the police action with 33 members of the Guardia Civil and national police also requiring medical attention.

The appearance of the navy comes after two convoys of Spanish troops were sent to the region with troops from the Logistic Support Group 41 (AALOG 41) moved to the region with orders to provide logistical support to the police force.

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