Minister orders Guardia boss to withdraw smoking ban


Minister orders Guardia boss to withdraw smoking ban

The Association of Civil Guards threatens to appeal new regulations to the judiciary.

The Interior Minister, Fernando Grande- Marlaska, has ordered the General Directorate of the Civil Guard to withdraw the draft general order with which he intended to regulate the attire and behaviour of civil guards which will, among other measures, prohibit tattoos and smoking whilst on duty.

Marlaska, according to sources within his ministry, has requested that the new regulations be amended, but only with the majority agreement of the Associations of the Civil Guard.

The association that represents the officers said on Tuesday that they could appeal to the courts  in order to stop the draft text in which, among other measures, prohibits the exhibition of tattoos and smoking whilst in uniform.

The interpretation of the agents is that the new regulations also imply “a standard hairstyle for men and women” and prohibits the wearing of jewellery, other than a ring or a small bracelet”.

Five associations (AUGC, AEGC, Union GC, ASESGC and APCGC) have signed this letter as well as a further missive addressed to the General Director, Felix Azón, following a meeting on Monday of a working group created to discuss the new regulations.

The issue that generated the most debate was that of tattoos, the insistence that they be covered and not visible whilst in uniform. If the regulation is approved the guards will either have to cover them or undertake to have them removed within three months.

They are also being told that agents with tattoos must register them in a database with the characteristics, place of the body where it is, and a photograph of the tattoo itself.

The Association says that they see sufficient reasons to reject the draft regulation and urge the courts if they do not opt ​​for dialogue, to avoid affecting the fundamental rights and civil liberties of their officers.