Several hundred people rallied in Brussels today to back the independence push in Catalonia, slam the EU and demand Spain release jailed regional officials.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who is in self-imposed exile in Belgium, was a no-show at the demonstration that included pro-independence European Parliament members and several members of the exiled regional government.
“Democracy in Spain is not only sick, it is practically dead,” Spanish MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras, who backs Catalan independence, told the demonstrators.
“I think that it is absolutely terrible that the European institutions don’t understand that when you attack democracy you cannot applaud (Spanish Prime Minister Mariano) Rajoy and institutions in Spain that are outside the law,” he added.
The protest, just metres from the European Union’s main institutions, came a day after hundreds of thousands of Catalans protested the jailing of regional officials for their push for independence from Spain.
However, The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said that he wanted to return to a “democratic and free” Catalonia as he aimed to rally support for a unified Spain on his first visit to the turbulent region since it declared independence.