By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
AN extra 600 members of the National Police and the Guardia Civil have been deployed to the Balearics to tightened security this season as part of the annual Operation Summer which was mounted yesterday and will continue until the end of September.

As the Bulletin reported last month, in response to the fatal ETA terrorist car bombing which claimed the lives of two members of the Guardia Civil in Palmanova last year and the four minor explosives devises the terrorist organisation placed in three bars and a public toilet in and around the centre of Palma, the security forces, in particular the elite units, have changed their operational tactics in order to ensure maximum safety and security for the millions of national and international holiday makers this summer.

The Central Government Delegate to the Balearics, Ramon Socias, said yesterday that included in the extra 600 reinforcements is the bomb squad, a special canine unit and an elite “under ground” squad.

REPORT POTENTIAL THREATS
Socias explained that this year, apart from the deployment of extra police, one of the key changes is how the police are going to be operating and he admitted that is because of last year's terror attacks on Majorca which fortunately did not injure any members of the general public although it did lead to a complete lock down of the island as the police tried to identify and catch the bombers.

The government delegate said that security at all entry and exit points is going to be increasingly tightened and efforts are being made to try and increase the public's awareness to any potential threat or danger which must be immediately reported to the police.

That said, Socias stressed that Spain is currently enjoying a period of “objective security and that the Balearics is “reasonably safe” in comparison to some other countries in the European Union “but that does not mean that Spain is not impenetrable.” Over the past year, the Spanish and French security forces have enjoyed considerable success in rounding up senior members of the ETA terrorist group but the government has warned that ETA will no doubt be rearming.

IMPORTANT LESSONS
Socias said that there has been an ongoing exhaustive investigation into last year's attacks in Majorca and significant advances have been made. “The important thing is that last year's tragedies have taught important lessons about how we must proceed in the future,” he said.
He also revealed that, as part of the preparation for Summer Operation 2010, the National Police and Guardia Civil have already been carrying out some important operations and investigations in Spain and overseas.

The main concentrations of the summer police forces are going to be in the country's main tourist resorts and cities and this year, they will be using the very latest technology to enhance their capabilities.

Security is also going to be stepped up around Guardia Civil barracks.
The National Police in Majorca have also been given a new uniform which was officially unveiled at their Palma head quarters yesterday.
Described as more comfortable and more modern, the first members of the force to wear the new uniform are those on the beat.

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