Former Interior Minister, speaking of the police charges on 1-O: "the ballot boxes didn’t turn up, which was frustrating”

José Ignacio Zoido defends the way the police acted during the Catalan referendum two years ago

Spain’s former Interior Minister José Ignacio Zoido acknowledged in an interview with Madrid’s Cope radio station that, despite having seized some glass ballot boxes and templates for printing advertising and ballot papers, "the ballot boxes didn’t turn up and the police were frustrated after so many days of hard work" ahead of the referendum on 1 October 2017. Zoido, currently an MEP for the PP, declared that the Guardia Civil and the Spanish police acted in a manner which was "totally proportionate" and that voters "used force on many occasions", referring to photos in which barriers were thrown at the police. Zoido added that, in terms of police operations in Catalonia, "the Catalan police did nothing to help".

Speaking of the night before the referendum, Zoido declared that “truth be told, neither myself, nor the secretary of state nor the head of the police force went home to sleep, we held meetings at the Ministry of the Interior", adding, "We were waiting all night to see how the Mossos d'Esquadra would operate". For Zoido, "the clearest example of the Mossos' failure to help is the fact that they didn’t have any riot police to support the Guardia Civil and the Spanish police when they had to comply with the judicial order to prevent the illegal referendum from going ahead".