The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, joined President Carles Puigdemont and Minister Toni Comín today for their first plenary session as members of the European Parliament. Speaking to the media, the head of the executive said: “Today is a day of celebration because two Catalan MEPs are again entering the European Parliament, which we feel we have a stake in, as much as we do in the Parliament of Catalonia.” However, Torra added: “It’s also a day to voice our demands, to highlight the fact that not all of us are here – that MEP Oriol Junqueras is missing.”
Quim Torra, who is attending the plenary session of the European Parliament this afternoon said: “We’ve been calling for the immediate release of Oriol Junqueras from the moment when the ruling of the European Court of Justice was announced, and we reiterated that call when he was recognised as an MEP by the European Parliament. We stand by him and will do whatever it takes for him to be able to be here too.”
The head of the government also called for the European Arrest Warrants against Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín to be “withdrawn immediately”, as their lawyers have requested. He noted that the new MEPs have been deprived of their right to vote and be recognised as European lawmakers for six months, and that this has also impacted “everything they represent – the millions of citizens who voted for them”.
President Torra also warned the Spanish government that it is not enough to talk about dialogue and the dejudicialisation of politics, stressing that these words need to be given real content and translated into concrete action. Otherwise, he said, “citizens are being misled”. He also emphasised that the Government of Catalonia will continue to advocate and defend “the Catalan people’s right to self-determination, amnesty, and the rights and freedoms of Catalan citizens”.