The presence of the Guardia Civil (Civil Guard) in French territory in a attempt to capture the acting president of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, is causing malaise and complaints in France, according to media from that country.
The France Bleu radio network has explained details on its website, and points out that several French motorists found that the Guardia Civil were carrying out controls to try to locate Puigdemont hundreds of meters inside French territory. “About 200 meters from the border, we saw a vehicle from the Civil Guard. We were stopped by armed policemen. They checked if we had someone in the boot,” said a neighbor from Prats de Molló, who then photographed them with his smartphone.
Guardia Civil violates French border. Mayor of Prats-de-Mollo: "We cannot accept French drivers who are going for a drive, without leaving French territory, being searched by the Spanish, and suspected of hiding Carles Puigdemont in their boot". #Cataloniahttps://t.co/MalbRhZHd8
— Quantum (@QuantumAspect) January 31, 2018
The mayor of Prats de Molló, Claude Ferrer, has denounced the situation in France’s Bleu Roussillon. “It’s quite abnormal. It’s not acceptable that French motorists who are going for a drive, without leaving French territory, are being searched by Spanish and suspected of hiding Carles Puigdemont in their boot,” he said.
The Spanish police forces are authorized to cross the border only in a very limited way, in case of persecution of a flagrant crime or by a justified terrorist alert. It is the first time that a similar situation exists for a police checkpoint with political motivation.