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200 Catalan mayors take over Bozar

17:59 07/11/2017

Two hundred mayors from Catalonia were in Brussels on Tuesday to show their support for deposed president Carles Puigdemont and the four ministers who are staying in Brussels. Their goal, they said in statements made at Brussels Airport, is also to support the already jailed politicians in Spain.

“We want to emphasise how aware and how concerned Europe should be about what is happening in Catalonia,” one of the mayors told VRT, “and that there should be an intervention at the European level. We ask for the immediate release of the imprisoned Catalonian politicians.”

The mayors find, he said, that what the Spanish government is doing is in violation of human rights and democracy. The 200 mayors are part of a circle of 787 mayors who have officially spoken out in favour of Catalan independence. There are 948 municipalities in Catalan.

The mayors gathered in Bozar late this afternoon to deliver speeches and were joined by Puigdemont and the ministers in exile. The even was still ongoing as this article went to press.

One politician notably absent in Brussels is the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, who has made it clear that, while she is not against Catalonian independence, she does not think it should be declared on the basis of the October 1 vote.

In related news, a group of Catalan business leaders gave a press conference in the European parliament today to denounce independence. Concerned that the economic consequences could be dire, 2000 businesses have already moved their headquarters out of the autonomous community.

Photo: Marie Bosquet/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw