The owner of the three-star Hotel Vila in the seaside resort of Calella just north of Barcelona confirmed today that he had asked around 100 Civil Guards staying at the establishment to leave.
David Coll said that he had taken his decision after confrontations between officers and locals in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Civil Guards sleeping at the hotel ended up using batons to try to disperse crowds who had gathered outside to shout insults after the police brutality witnessed at several polling stations during Sunday’s Catalan independence referendum.
A lawyer acting for the police has pledged legal action against the hotel owner and local council he claimed had pressured him into serving the expulsion order, a claim town hall chiefs have angrily denied.
Around 300 more officers staying in two others hotels in the seaside town are also said to have been asked to leave, with noisy protests outside other establishments police were staying at being reported in the Catalan city of Lleida and towns of Reus and Pineda de Mar.
Regional Mossos d’Esquadra officers, filmed in angry confrontations with Civil Guards outside a polling station on Sunday over their response to citizens trying to cast their vote, were brought in to try to restore order.
Police have claimed on social media that waiters at some of the hotels they were staying at called in sick after being pressured to skip work, prompting staff shortages.
They also said some distributors had cut food supplies to the hotels “off their own backs or because they were being pressured”.
One message, said to be circulating on a closed police WhatsApp group but flagged up by several Spanish newspapers, said: “The director of the hotel I was staying at received several calls, one of them saying that they were going to burn it down, others threatening to kill his parents and reminding him that he had young children.”
It was not immediately clear where the police and Civil Guards staying at the hotels would…