Major Guardia Civil Shake-Up

Guardia Civil Looks Set For New Leadership

Image of Guardia Civil officer. Credit: Pierre Aden/

The Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, is set to implement significant changes within the Guardia Civil.

This decision, raising eyebrows within the Police and Guardia Civil, was announced recently.

In a surprise move, Grande-Marlaska, who has been reappointed for another four years, plans to overhaul many Command headquarters across Spain, including Madrid’s.

This decision is seen as a continuation of his long-held goal to legally dismiss Colonel Diego Perez de los Cobos. The future of Leonardo Marcos, the Director-General of the Guardia Civil, is also said to be hanging in the balance.

Unexpected Continuity

The decision to retain Grande-Marlaska at the helm of the Interior Ministry was unexpected, both politically and within the police ranks.

Names such as Margarita Robles, the current Minister of Defence, were floated as potential successors. Robles was particularly welcomed in Guardia Civil circles, signalling a break from five years of internal strife under Marlaska. However, this anticipated ‘breath if fresh air’ didn’t materialise.

Legal Challenges

he Interior Ministry has earmarked several territorial command headquarters for renewal. Madrid is notably on this list, a move expected since late 2023.

De los Cobos, who was reinstated by a Supreme Court ruling in March after being ousted in 2020, remains a target for Marlaska. This time, however, the Interior seeks to avoid legal repercussions by broadening the scope of the renovation.

Meanwhile, Marlaska faces legal issues of his own. The Supreme Court has accepted an appeal by the Unified Association of Guardia Civil (AUGC) against a directive by Maria Gamez, former Director of the Guardia Civil, on productivity bonuses.

The contentious document, already overturned by the High Court of Justice of Madrid, allegedly complicates salary calculations, potentially leading to reduced pay for officers.

The Supreme Court will scrutinise whether the General Order No. 4 of February 12, 2021, concerning performance incentives for Guardia Civil personnel, should be considered a regulatory provision or an administrative act with multiple addressees. This investigation could have far-reaching implications for the Interior Ministry’s policies.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Mark

      09 January 2024 • 10:56

      “performance incentives for Guardia Civil personnel”. Is this serious? Anyone in the position of trust either performs or doesn’t. The latter should result in warnings with possible dismissal. The former is what is expected of anyone in that position.

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