In Franco’s last years there was a joke kicking around about why the Guardia Civil always walked around in pairs. The question was asked and the response was: one who can read and write and the other to keep an eye on the dangerous intellectual. Things have come a long way since then.
Gone are the drooping moustaches, tricornio hats & webbing and I can’t work out if they are all younger or I’m just a lot older, but the fact remains that the days when only corporals and above could read and write are ancient history. They look and act more like policemen and less like soldiers, which they technically still are.
Nothing could emphasise this more than the latest news concerning units stationed in the province of Granada, where they are to receive courses in Languages, Culture, History and Tourism. They’re out to answer questions from tourists, rather than ask people questions, whilst they’re hanging upside down in chains.
Granada is being used as a guinea pig (no pun intended) and depending on how it goes here, it will be extended to other provinces. The Minister of the Interior, Jorge Fernández Díaz and the Head of the provincial council, Sebastian Pérez, signed the go-ahead for the project, which comes with a 600,000-euro budget.
But it is not only the policemen out on the street, but the Guardia Civil posts themselves, which will house all sorts of tourist information – in the old days, there was lots of tourist information stored there, but of a different kind: ‘who are they speaking with and are they suspect communists.’
Accordingly, the 79 Guardia Civil posts dotted around the 168 municipalities within the province will be spruced up and blood stains removed – just joking!
(News: Granada, Andalucia)