Full support from the Government to Fernando Grande-Marlaska. Not even the Minister of the Interior plans to take a step aside in the face of the opposition’s calls for resignation after the murder of two civil guards in Barbate, nor has the Executive lost its confidence in him. Quite the opposite. Moncloa sources transfer their “absolute trust” in the minister and highlight that “in less than 24 hours there have been arrests” related to the murder last Friday when a patrol boat was run over by a drug boat.
Marlaska’s shielding is repeated again, as happened in other controversies during the last legislature, mainly the death of at least 23 migrants in a assault on the Melilla fence in June 2022. Moncloa’s confidence in the minister is ratified after the attorney general, Álvaro García Ortiz, admitted that the Ministry of the Interior did not inform the public ministry of the disappearance of the OCON-Sur Civil Guard unitwhich was intended to combat drug trafficking in Andalusia.
The Government spokesperson, Pilar Alegría, has been in charge of publicly ratifying the support for the Minister of the Interior to ensure that his work “it is accredited” and beyond any discussion”. In a press conference after the Council of Ministers, Alegría defended to clear up any doubts about his role that “if anyone is qualified to face this challenge, it is the Minister Marlaska”.
The Government defends an increase in material and human resources for the fight against drug trafficking and crime in Campo de Gibraltar. A “historical maximum” of 25,000 agents compared to the 22,500 that existed when the socialists came to power. In fact, the Minister of Education has also stressed that resources will continue to increase in the face of the “cuts” in security forces that she attributed to the previous PP Administration.
“This Government always supports and recognizes the security forces “Not only with words, but also with actions.”said the spokesperson, estimating the number of victims at 156,000 and an improvement in their working conditions by 38%. “It was with the PP Government when we suffered the biggest cut in the number of Civil Guard and Police officerswith 13,000 fewer, nine fewer agents per day,” he reproached.
On the Campo de Gibraltar, he highlighted the creation of a specific security plan to confront drug trafficking and smuggling organizations, which did not exist when the socialists landed in Moncloa in 2018, and since then they have opted for a “integral solution” to the drug trafficking problem. Faced with criticism of lack of resources, Alegría has empathized by recognizing that “we are aware that resources will never be enough, but we are and will continue to be committed to improvements for the security forces.”
Specifically, government sources state that the boats currently available to agents in their fight against drug trafficking in this area, two more will be added that are in the bidding process.
Until June 2018, the National Police and Civil Guard staff had a total of 22,526 agents. At the end of 2023, that figure rises to 25,350 national police and civil guards, according to data provided by the Executive. Since the arrival of the so-called Special Security Plan, the Interior has iinvested 40.2 million euros in acquiring vehicles, boats, drones, protection material or technological means.