More than 500 people gathered on Sunday at midday, on the Esplanade du Parlement Européen in Brussels, in support of the anti-independence demonstrations in Barcelona. Using the slogan “Enough! Common sense must prevail”, the demonstrators carried the official flags not only of Catalonia, but also of Spain and the European Union. Placards also bore the message “We are Catalan. We are Spanish. We are European.” This gathering was organised following calls from the movement, the Catalonia Non-profit Pressure Group.
The demonstrators defend the respect for independence in law-making in Catalonia and also unity across Spain. They consider that it is not good to turn in on themselves. They also feel that it is preferable for the Catalan and Spanish people to unite at Spanish national level, and more broadly within the European Union. “There is strength in unity,” Adriana Florit (aged 32), a volunteer originally from Catalonia, considers. She works within the movement the Catalonia Non-profit Pressure Group.
She goes on, “We are already seeing large companies and large banks saying that they want to leave Catalonia if it becomes independent. The economy will suffer as a result. On a political level, the only ones to benefit from all of this are the far-left anarchist movements within the Catalan government.”
Demonstrators fear negative economic implications for the Catalan people. Adriana Florit observes, “The independence movements have gathered momentum during the economic crisis in Spain.” She goes on, “However, now the people realise that they will feel the pinch, and they are starting to change their views on the issue.”