Soon after the state of alarm was declared, there was a report in which a Palma police officer was quoted as saying that common sense needed to be applied to the rules on movement. He was referring specifically to people going to fincas to feed dogs. It’s common sense that this should be allowed.
We also had the interior minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, saying that of course people could nip out to newsagents, adding that they should try to combine this nipping-out with other essential needs, such as going to a supermarket. In accordance with the state of alarm, Grande-Marlaska is currently in direct charge of all police forces in the country. His word should therefore count for something.
To what extent is common sense being applied? And if it doesn’t appear to be, can police forces really be blamed? There is mounting evidence of what seems like improvisation, of different interpretations of the rules and of question marks regarding the legality of fines that have been issued. There have unquestionably been flagrant abuses, but there have also been cases which don’t seem to be. Then on Sunday, the police in Palma were telling parents that their children had to get out of the sea. There weren’t fines for this, but if you let parents take kids to the beach, they will assume - in all innocence - that this also means the sea.
These are difficult times for everyone, and that includes police forces, for whom clearer guidance may be needed. Over to you, Sr. Grande-Marlaska.