One sign showed the face of European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker with the question: “Democracy?
He and four of his cabinet members fled to Belgium when Madrid imposed direct rule on Catalonia and sacked his government after the Catalan parliament’s unilateral declaration of independence on October 27th.
Nuria Salvat, a student from Tarragona in Catalonia, said she had come to demand freedom for “political prisoners” – members of Mr Puigdemont’s administration held in jail in Spain – and to support Mr Puigdemont himself.
However, Mr Timmermans, the former Dutch foreign minister, said there was no change to European Commission policy that the dispute between Madrid and Mr Puigdemont’s administration, now removed from office.
Accusing Mr Puigdemont and his allies of undermining the rule of law by choosing to ignore a Spanish constitutional ban on secession rather than trying to change the constitution, Mr Timmermans said they were jeopardising basic freedoms and noted there had been big rallies in Spain on both sides of the debate.