Misc 07/07/2021

Junqueras does not give up on MEP seat

The ERC leader assures that he has always wanted to have an understanding with Puigdemont and that "no reconciliation" is necessary

3 min
Oriol Junqueras, Carme Forcadell, Raül Romeva, Dolors Bassa, Meritxell Serret, Diana Riba, Jordi Solé and Clara Ponsatí with a group of Green/EFA and GUE/NGL MEPs at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 6 July 2021.

StrasbourgThe ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras, and the former minister Raül Romeva have again set foot on the headquarters of the Strasbourg Parliament on Tuesday, which they have been able to access due to their status as former MEPs, since the coronavirus restrictions prevent entry to visitors. It was for this reason that neither the former President of the Parliament Carme Forcadell nor the former ministers Dolors Bassa and Meritxell Serret have been able to access the building despite having traveled to the French city. But Junqueras does not lose hope of being able to step on this institution again with the status of MEP that he won in 2019 after the European elections: "We do not take anything for lost, we are awaiting a new judicial ruling".

The Supreme Court prevented the ERC leader from leaving prison to assume the act and since then, despite a first resolution of the Court of Justice of the EU that ruled that he would have had to be allowed to do so, the European justice has been knocking down several of the appeals filed by his defense against the President of the European Parliament for having vacated his seat. Junqueras explained that the main purpose of this trip to Strasbourg is to explain to several MEPs and parliamentary groups with whom they have scheduled meetings that in Spain they are still suffering repression, and one of the examples, he said, is that the Supreme Court has not allowed him to return to be an MEP in the current legislature. Junqueras has not wanted to detail his agenda of meetings despite assuring that they are with members of "several parliamentary groups". Clara Ponsatí has been the only Junts MEP who has received them in Strasbourg.

"The main message is simple: we are two former deputies of this house that have suffered a repression that has been clearly unjust", said the leader of ERC with Romeva, just before entering the building to meet with the group of the Greens/ALE, of which he was President. After the favorable ruling of the ECJ, Junqueras was immediately appointed Vice President of the group of the Greens and President of the European Free Alliance (EFA) but finally the two positions were assumed by Jordi Solé, who took over the seat after ERC agreed to run the list to avoid losing it.

"There is no need for reconciliation"

And from Strasbourg they will travel to Brussels, where they will first pass through the delegation of the EU Government, which is in charge of the recently appointed Gorka Knorr. Then they will go to Waterloo, where Junqueras and the ex President Carles Puigdemont will see each other for the first time since the events of October 2017. After the meeting between the top representatives of the Government that carried out the 1-O referendum, only Junqueras will answer questions from the media. Junqueras has avoided answering why the meeting has not been possible in Strasbourg, and has sent conciliatory messages. "It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet if it is here, and if not in Belgium", started Junqueras, who has ensured that between him and Puigdemont "no reconciliation is necessary" because on his part "there has always been all the will to understand each other".

This Tuesday the former minister Toni Comín, now also an MEP of Junts in exile, has watered down in statements to Catalunya Ràdio the expectations that the meeting between the leader of Junts and the leader of ERC will serve to uncallar some of the political discrepancies between the two formations: "In the political field a photo will not fix anything. Let's not fool ourselves". Comín has assured that the meeting is framed in a "personal sphere" of the relationship of the two pro-independence leaders.