Marlaska refuses to pay per diem to the police and civil guards deployed in Operation Crossing the Strait

Just two days ago, the Ministry of the Interior, which heads Fernando Grande-Marlaska, announced the details of Operation Crossing the Strait (OPE) for this year. Device that is brought forward to June 13 and that will have 6% more police and civil guards compared to 2023. A reinforcement of 689 agents, who will join the Traffic and Civil Protection forces. However, this increase in resources has a catch, since “the officials designated to occupy any of the positions offered in temporary attribution of functions will receive the remuneration for their position and original qualification.” Or what is the same, that They will not receive any diet despite the temporary change of destination.

This is stated in the plan prepared by the Interior and the General Directorate of the Police, which specifies that the temporary attribution of functions to the agents does not entail the “perception of any compensation.” From the police union JUPOL they denounce that the fact of referring police officers to a population other than their destination without including the pertinent allowances for their accommodation and maintenance is “a new lack of respect towards officers“, which again “are used” by the Executive of Pedro Sanchez.

Because, in his opinion, it is incomprehensible that the agents assigned to the OPE have to “pay out of their pockets for diets and powers that should be borne by the Ministry of the Interior.” And although the increase in personnel is good news, it is still an insufficient number to cover the heavy workload and maintain decent working conditions, they argue.

Frozen diets for 19 years

Accommodation, maintenance, use of a private vehicle, fuel… Agents' allowances have been the same since 2005, their amount has not changed in any way. A situation that becomes unsustainable, if we look at the current high cost of living. Specifically, up to 212% more. That is the difference between what a hotel room costs on average (153 euros in August) and what a police officer has to pay for that accommodation on an official trip (48.92 euros). And the subsistence allowance is not much better either: 28.21 euros per day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

From this union they point out that referring police officers to a population other than the one in which they reside represents “an economic problem” for them, since even paying them per diems, the agents have to put money out of their own pockets. And at this point, it must be emphasized that the unions have been demanding a review of the amount of these allowances for years.

The ministry led by Grande-Marlaska argues that those diets “can't be touched” because Royal Decree 462/2002, which establishes these amounts, affects the entire public service. But as the Spanish Police Confederation (CEP) points out, there are “alternatives” and they can be implemented as was done in 2004 and 2010.

Namely: article 11 of This Royal Decree does cover raising the amount of allowances at some times of the year, even more so given the increase in hotel accommodation prices. From the CEP they point out that this has already been done and “allowed the police not to suffer hardship for doing their job for seven years.” Furthermore, they point out that the CECIR, the body that approves these measures, agreed in 2010 that the ministries could propose this increase in accommodation allowances for “exceptional reasons.”

Finally, this union makes it clear that it is not only about “summer operation”, the refusal to update these diets affects all trips by the UIP, UPR, CGI, CGEF, CGPJ, UAI or any other Unit. “Interior has to stop looking the other way on this issue and take action now. Less bragging about our work and more real support,” they denounce.