Spain beefs up Christmas security in wake of Berlin attack

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PLANT POTS AND BOLLARDS: Puerta del Sol in Madrid is one of the Christmas hotspots where security will be boosted over the festive season.

THE Spanish National Police has issued a statement requesting that local councils up security measures at public events taking place over the festive season in the wake of the fatal attack in Berlin earlier this week.

Their suggestions include blocking access points with bollards or other structures, and increasing the number of patrols to boost police presence.

The Department of Security issued a letter on Tuesday, December 20, in which town halls are urged to “augment physical protection measures to prevent attacks similar to those carried out with heavy trucks in Nice and Berlin.

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“The protection of these public spaces should be carried out by municipalities via the temporary installation of large plant pots or bollards at entrances in order to impede or prevent vehicle access, allowing only controlled access.”

Extreme vigilance is recommended on certain days, particularly Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and throughout the Three Kings celebrations.

Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said that citizens need “not be obsessed” with any potential threat, but that it would be a serious mistake for Spain to “close its eyes” when other European countries, such as France, Germany and Belgium, are suffering.

The secretary of state for security, Joe Antonio Nieto, has also informed councillors in Catalonia and the Basque Country that they are now invited to attend weekly meetings in which the national security status is reviewed, having previously been barred.

Spain has been on a level four terrorist alert, the second highest out of five, since June 2015.

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