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Six months later, Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín have taken their seats as MEPs. Fellow Catalan politician, Oriol Junqueras, however, hasn't been able to; his seat was today declared vacant. Puigdemont and Comín wanted to protest the decision as they took their seats in the European Parliament for the first time.

When the chamber's president, David Sassoli, mentioned the end of Junqueras's mandate, Puigdemont lifted up a poster reading "Free Junqueras". A member of chamber staff went up to them to ask them to put it down.

Sassoli read a statement: "Taking into account the decision of the [Spanish] Central Electoral Commission on 3rd January this year and the decision by the Spanish Supreme Court on 9th January, the Parliament notes that the seat of Mr Oriol Junqueras i Vies is vacant as of 3rd January 2020 as under our Rules."

Below is the statement and protest as seen on the official Parliament TV feed:


And below is a video of the whole protest:

Video: Roberto Lázaro

Second protest

During a pause in proceedings, MEP Diana Riba, the wife of Raül Romeva, one of the former members of Puigdemont's cabinet now in prison, held up her own "Free Junqueras" poster alongside colleagues from the ALDE group.

eurodiputats alde diana riba cartell junqueras parlament euopeu - roberto lázaro

Photo: Roberto Lázaro