Several thousand Catalans are demonstrating outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday to denounce the fact that three elected Catalan separatist politicians would not be allowed to take part in the Parliament’s inaugural session.
Police estimate the number of protesters to be around 4,000. The demonstrators have erected a scene in front of the institution, and public transport can not reach the Parliament, which today welcomes the 751 newly eleceted MEPs from the recent European elections held in May.
While inside the @Europarl_EN the first plenary session takes place, outside, thousands of people protest the absence of three of the Catalan MEPs, persecuted in Spain due to their involvement in the unilateral call for independence in Catalonia. pic.twitter.com/ixha4BsPUf
— Beatriz Ríos (@BeaRios_) July 2, 2019
As Spain is blocking the three elected Catalan separatist MEPs from taking office, the parliament’s opening session is marked by their three empty seats. The three MEPs are Carles Puigdemont, the former head of the Catalan government and who now lives in exile in Belgium. His colleague Toni Comin, also residing in Belgium and separatist Oriol Junqueras.
“Where do our votes go if the people we vote in can not then go and perform their duties?” To the river?”, complained one protestor, pointing to the canal which flows next to the Parliament.
“It’s important to be here, because inside the Spanish borders our fundamental rights are oppressed,” he continued, wrapped in the Catalan regional flag.
The Brussels Times