The deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was satisfied with the demonstration yesterday in Brussels and thanked both his compatriots and the Belgian police. The demonstration which gathered 45,000 Catalans is estimated to have been one of the biggest ones in Brussels in years.
“Europe must not be afraid to defend fundamental democratic values,” he said. “Catalonia wants to continue as a democratic country. We’ll continue to work peacefully here in the heart of Europe.”
Puigdemont ended his speech with a message to the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. “Is this a demonstration to defend criminals?” he asked and referred to the Catalan leaders in Spanish prisons. “No. These people didn’t take to the streets en masse to defend criminals. They are democrats.”