National police officers from Benidorm were escorted to Catalonia on Wednesday afternoon to join police reinforcement ahead of the planned Catalonia secession on Sunday.
Six police cars full of officers left the city, flanked by several police motorbikes.
Although it has not been officially announced as to what force Benidorm’s officers will join, it has been suggested that they are headed for Girona.
National police officers from Alicante, Alcoy and Elche will join the officers from Benidorm.
Interior Minister Juan Antonio Zoido said the main role of all visiting officers will be to “monitor public spaces” and “maintain order” and only “if the illegal referendum is held, as ordered by the Superior Public Prosecutor of CataloniaJose Maria Romero de Tejada, will the officers take action.”
There are many reasons why Catalonia considers itself different from the rest of Spain and has made repeated calls for independence, but experts say the fall-out of the global financial crash in 2008 played an important role.
The financial crisis led to rising unemployment and debt in Spain, which irked independence supporters who believed Madrid was responsible for the crisis and that Catalonia was paying more taxes to bolster Spain’s poorer regions than it was getting in return.
The region pays over €10 billion more taxes to Madrid each year it gets back, according to Reuters, while Andalusia, Spain’s poorest region, receives over €8 billion more than it pays in.