“We are at war after we broke up the status quo”, Miquel Sellarès, CEEC chairman


Author: Mireia Giner

Source: El Singular Digital (04.03.2013)

“We are reacting like boy scouts in front of well trained troops”

As president of Centre d’Estudis Estratègics de Catalunya (CEEC), Miquel Sellarès, asserts that Catalonia  has to develop State structures without forgetting, among them, the defense of Catalonia once it becomes a free State. Besides, he says that Catalans must not be frightened by the attacks from the Spanish State since all countries would react in a similar way if they were to suffer a territorial loss.

sellaresAre you surprised by all these recent espionage stories?
The whole thing about Método 3 is not at all important… It is just a smoke-screen to divert attention from Spain’ s CNI operations in Catalonia. What is important in a meeting of two ladies talking about croc leather handbags and botox? No worries about that… The thing is privacy and political espionage between parties… but these things just happen.

So you are not worried about political espionage in Catalonia…
What do worry me are the attacks against our institutions coming from Spain. Not that I  think they are doing what they shouldn’t –as the CNI has 3.500 people working here for them, hundreds of million euro to do so and being the state security their duty- but precisely because if they weren’t attacking us now we should be asking ourselves why…  We, Catalans, are their problem.

It is clear then that the Spanish government is trying to get the process out off the track… Will they succeed?
They just do their own job. They will try to get the process out of track. The problem, though, is not them, but we are. We don’t react properly as we don’t have our own intelligence service to counter-attack.  As freedom seekers, we must realize that we do need state structures to counteract the attacks from another state.

Some days ago you said “we are at war”. Aren’t you exaggerating? 
No, not at all. We are at a “modern war”. The states within the European Union frame do not fight  on battlefields as they used to do time ago, war is now made in a different way. We are at war because we broke up the Spanish status quo.

mossosAren’t these much too hard words to describe the Spanish government’s attacks?
Wars can be based on trade or intelligence operations… We are at war since we have well trained troops in front of us and they attack what looks like boy scouts. Thing is that we ought to have all the necessary weapons or tools to protect and defend ourselves… The Generalitat nor any other Catalan institutions have them by now… Can you just imagine an independent Catalonia?

OK, I can imagine that…
Then imagine now that most people from Lleida (western Catalonia) were to say: “We  want to be an independent country”. We should then make anything possible as to keep the unity of our nation, right? Well that’s what they, the Spanish state, think they are doing… They are using all the tools they have, taking advantage on our weaknesses. If they find out any weakness or any hidden crap (excuse me for that) they just use it all.

Should Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan police) investigate the Spanish CNI?
No, no… Let’s not mix this and that. All police investigations must end up in court, so states do not involve the police with intelligence matters. The police is one thing and the intelligence service is another one. Let me explain. When the police has got any suspicious information has to bring it to the judge but when the intelligence services have a valuable information they just keep it safe for government’s use whenever it can be most useful… When any agent from the Civil Guard or the National Police is needed by the CNI he has to be, at least in theory, unattached from the previous job.
ESCOLTES TELF1Do Generalitat (Catalan government) need an Intelligence Service of their own?
Catalonia does not have the legal competence to have its own intelligence service, only states can have it at the moment. So, we are defenceless. Big companies, though, have a risk service and my proposal is for the Generalitat to have one, too. It would be just wise. We ought to know the risks of starting a self determination process and foresee all possible reactions from Spain.
Do you think they did not anticipate all that?
I don’t know, I got retired you know… But they should have seen all this in anticipation, yes. While Catalans walk towards self determination and independence they cannot do that blindfold  or in the most naive way. The Spanish CNI are doing what they are expected to do.
And how do CNI operate? Are their agents spying Catalan politicians or just have informers?
The CNI, as any other intelligence service in this world, can do some dirty jobs or just get others to do so depending on the matters. They can get favours from informers or even criminals in exchange for money… Actually, only a few times they do dirty jobs by themselves as they know they would be at risk in front of a justice court. Only when they are committed to the end and fulfil an entire operation by themselves it means they really were strongly interested and engaged in the matter.

Nowadays we have 6.000 Civil Guard and National Police agents in Catalonia. Has this number been increased recently?
No, I don’t think so… But the intelligence service has certainly been reinforced.

diagonal 666 cniAnd where did all the CNI agents find accommodation?
TV3 (Catalan TV) scored an spectacular goal by broadcasting this information. Their headquarters in Barcelona are 666 Diagonal Avenue (picture). But once they have been spotted, they will move somewhere else within three months time. They must be visiting other places by now or maybe moving their equipments to some military barracks.

Right now several espionage cases in Barcelona have been brought into light.  Is the CNI trying to wake up an internal Catalan confrontation as an attempt to stop the process towards sovereignty?
Of course they are trying to discredit the movement and pretending that all Catalan-ist leaders have been corrupted. I recently knew I am also in the list and any day they will accuse me for perverting young girls or being gay or whatsoever. But you have my word that’s absolutely not true. They will just invent things, that is the usual way… We are so lucky to be living in the 21st century because otherwise the tanks would already be all around here, they cannot do that now.

What role must the Mossos d’Esquadra have in this process?
I always tell them not to get involved in politics as their mission is to guarantee citizens’ freedom. They must not get into confrontation as they are policemen and must serve and defend all citizens in Catalonia no matter they vote for ERC or Ciutadans.

Mossos-Barcelona-BCE-manifesten-REUTERS_ARAIMA20120503_0112_10Will it be necessary to have a police body specialized in controlling Catalonia’s borders?
They are not all advantages in independence, it also demands duties. Security at borders, control on flying routes, etc… must be granted, of course. We cannot be naive and do otherwise. We will need our borders to be safe.  Catalans cannot say to our European Union associated countries: “All you spend in army we will invest, instead, on schools, ok?”. Then they would obviously ask us: “So, if anything very wrong happens, would you need any help from the European armies or not?

Do you mean we should have a Catalan army too?
Well, it is for us Catalans to decide on what would our duties be within the frame of the European Union… What other suitable options do we have? Could we really manage without it? If so, how? Maybe we could reach some agreement with our European associates… Anyway, we should guarantee some kind of self defence for an independent Catalonia, shouldn’t we? I do think we will need something of this sort.

(Translation: JTN)

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