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National Police arrive in Barcelona on ferry decorated with Looney Tunes

As tensions between Madrid and Catalonia reach boiling point, Twitter users find the funny side of the peculiar choice of vessel

‘Moby,’ one of the ships rented by the Interior Ministry to house members of Civil Guard and National Police.
‘Moby,’ one of the ships rented by the Interior Ministry to house members of Civil Guard and National Police. EL PAÍS

The Spanish Interior Ministry will be deploying 5,000 police officers in Catalonia over the coming days, in order to deal with the rising tensions in the region over the illegal independence referendum planned for October 1. Given the impossibility of finding accommodation for such a large number of people, two large ferries have been chartered for some of the National Police officers who are to be stationed there: the Rhapsody and the Moby Dada.

The latter vessel has caught the attention of many, however. As can be seen in the above photo taken by EL PAÍS photographer Carles Ribas, and as we can read on the company website, the ship is decorated with much-loved Looney Tunes cartoon characters. Of course, this small fact was never likely to go unnoticed by Twitter users, who were very quick to point out the contrast between the simmering tensions in Catalonia, the obligations of the security forces in this respect, and giant paintings of Tweety, Sylvester and Wile E. Coyote.

Once again, it’s worth pointing out that this is a real story, and not ripped from the pages of Spanish satirical website El Mundo Today.

“This ship alone, full of police officers, makes all the fuss about the referendum worth it”

“The government gives [regional premier] Puigdemont an ultimatum: if you don’t call off the referendum, Sylvester will eat Tweety.”

“They are calling the police operation in Catalonia ‘Anubis’ (god of death) but they are staying in a boat decorated with Tweety and Daffy Duck.”

“These images are coming to us live from Catalonia.”

English version by Simon Hunter.

Fe de errores

This story has been corrected after we mistakenly stated the vessels were cruise ships rather than ferries.

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