2019/09/16

France to Crash Catalan Language teachers in a Move to Kill the Language

The decision is historical: the secondary teacher's competition created in 1992 had never been interrupted for 26 years. The decision is even more surprising when it is known that there are always ten schools of Northern Catalonia that do not have a Catalan teacher, and that the demand for families is not covered.

A decision above all that sounds like a provocation, or at least as a forceful denial of the beautiful words of the representatives of the institutions, including the State, during the installation session of the Public Office of the Catalan Language last September 4th.

The prefect and the academic inspector, two days before, emphasized the interest of the State to participate in the promotion of the Catalan language.

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Exiled Minister Toni Comín: "exile was the politically coherent option with the declaration of independence and the referendum"

The minister of Health of the government of Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín, claims the decision to go to exile. Comín, from Catalonia's Republican Left (ERC) ensures that ERC has been "too focused" in "the hegemony strategy". To search the hegemony destroys the will of unity and ends in an impossible uniformity. A mistake. Even so, Comín denies "no distancing" with the Republicans and defends that he has always acted with "maximum loyalty" to the party. It further states that, despite "strategic differences", the party has always debated with it openly: "At least with whom I relate to ERC I keep looking at it as before"

Toni Comín claims that "the politically responsible decision is called exile. "If we wanted to keep alive, what we had begun on October 1 could only be done from exile, because from prison it is impossible."Do not make the 1-O statement or if you do not have to continue."

ERC's politician believes that "admiring the resistance and courage" of the pro-independence pro-independence leaders, as well as his personal decision not to leave, is not "incompatible" with the fact that "the politically coherent option" was "exile".Comín accuses the Spanish authorities of trying to treat the prisoners as "hostages. "We can not try to blackmail with the third degree."

The elected MEP of Together criticizes that ERC has been "too focused on the strategy of hegemony", because he believes that he must park when "there is a need" in the "hard confrontation with Spain."


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2019/09/15

International conference in Brussels on Self-Determination

One of the paradoxes of self-determination processes is that nationalist movements and central governments share a 19th century vision of nationalism and statehood in which sovereignty is “unitary” rather than shared. When put in simple terms, a unitary sovereign logic prevails and this is precisely what puts them on a collision course.
However, in an age when the functions of the State are arguably waning or are being profoundly transformed by authority “re-scaling” in the European Union (EU), it is urgent to discuss and further clarify how the EU could offer the most appropriate template for meeting the aspirations of stateless nations. Over the years, the EU has played an important transformative role in the relationship between regions and central states. However, this role could be improved.
Held on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 September in Brussels, this international conference is aimed at promoting debate around four major challenges posed to stateless nations in order to devise a European approach to self-determination demands in a context of shared sovereignty. By engaging academics and practitioners in a multi-disciplinary dialogue, this international conference aims to advance a paradigmatic change and to develop innovative concepts that may inform the way in which such demands can be managed within the EU.
The conference will be divided in four panels with distinctive, though complementary goals. The overarching aim of this conference is to build upon existing paradigms, in a bold and creative fashion, and to offer concrete, workable proposals that may inform the resolution of the current predicament.
NB: the program of this event is still subject to change

Program

18 September 2019

10:00-10:15
Welcome words
10:15-11:00
Keynote address
By Montserrat Guibernau, University of Cambridge
11:00-13:00
Panel I [practitioners]: The "State of the Union" After the European Elections: What's Next for Stateless Nations?
Speakers:
  • Lucia Parrucci, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
  • Elisenda Paluzie, Assemblea Nacional Catalana
  • Jordi Solé, former Member of the European Parliament (Greens/European Free Alliance)
  • Hilde Roosens, Vlaamse Volksbeweging
  • Maggie Lennon, Women for Independence
  • Jack O’Neil, Young Scots for Independence
Moderation: Sandrina Antunes, University of Minho
14:00-15:15
Panel II [experts]: The "State of the Union" After the European Elections: What's Next for Stateless Nations?
Speakers:
  • Daniel Cetrà, University of Aberdeen
  • John Loughlin, University of Cambridge
  • Marc Sanjaume, Pompeu Fabra University
Moderation: Simon Toubeau, University of Nottingham
15:30-17:00
Panel III: Self-Determination, Internal Enlargement and European International Mediation: Truth or Wishful Thinking?
Speakers:
  • Nicolas Levrat, University of Geneva
  • Simon Toubeau, University of Nottingham
  • Huw Evans, Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Emanuele Massetti, University of Trento
  • Sandrina Antunes, University of Minho
Moderation: Alan Sandry, Coppieters Foundation

19 September 2019

10:30-12:00
Panel IV: Self-Determination, Shared Sovereignty and the European Union Architecture: A Different Europe for "A Better Fit"?
Speakers:
  • Klaus-Jürgen Nagel, Pompeu Fabra University
  • Ander Errasti Lopez, Basque Institute of Democratic Governance
  • Cormac Mac Amhlaigh, University of Edinburgh
  • Sophie Heine, Author and Consultant
Moderation: Brendan Donnelly, Federal Trust for Education and Research

Practicalities

When: 18 and 19 September 2019
Where: Brussels, Rue de la Loi 227 Wetstraat

Registration

You can register to this event using this form

Press

Media inquiries can be addressed to info@ideasforeurope.eu
. . .
This conference is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the conference or the opinions of the speakers.
. . .
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2019/09/14

Catalan Council of the Republic proposes a negotiation with Spain with a Mediator, if negotiation is denied calls for nonviolent civil disobedience

The Consell per la República proposes a negotiation with the State with a mediator
This platform would have an "independent mediation of the negotiations" and would be based on the "recognition by the State of the right to self-determination" exercised on 1-O and the "reversal of repression and integral respect for civil rights and politicians".

The Consell recalls that the independence movement "has always appealed to dialogue and negotiation" for the solution of the political conflict, which they believe has been "systematically disregarded and belittled by all Spanish governments." However, they insist on continuing "willing to dialogue."

They ask the "people of Catalonia" to support institutions "exercising essential civil rights" and nonviolent civil disobedience. "There will come a time when if dialogue and negotiation do not work, we will not give up our right to self-determination," he said.

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2019/09/12

"The people should not be the one to decide on a question as important as self-determination", Spanish Socialist leader says

Spanish Socialist Speaker at the Catalan Parliament Eva Granados (PSOE) today has said they "don't believe in Self Determination and don't think that citizens should decide on such an important question". So the Spanish socialists, mainly Spanish nationalists, haven't understood Catalan society at all and they don't believe in international right. Granados, who always has been working for her party or satellite groups. The Socialist speaker in Catalan parliament in the radio yesterday: "The people should not be the one to decide on a question as important as self-determination. It can't be left up to the citizens to resolve a matter as important as self-determination" How can you claim Spain is "one of the most advanced democracies in the world" without believing in Democracy?

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Massive rally for Catalonia's independence in Barcelona






The Catalan Resistance is Unbroken in spite of Spanish fines, beatings, terrorism, jail or bannings.750,000 Catalan independence supporters rally in Barcelona for National Day of Catalonia yesterday. The rally came weeks ahead of the highly anticipated verdict from the Supreme Court in a case against 12 democratic leaders on charges including rebellion. This was the eighth successive pro-independence demonstration held on the National Day. Some 1,200 buses traveled to Barcelona from across Cataloni. The Massive Catalan independence march called for unity as trial verdict approaches.

Under the motto Objectiu independència (Objective independence), this year's demonstration aimed for the people taking part to form a huge star shape that will be visible from the air, and converging on a square. The Catalan National Assembly, ANC, leader admitted that yesterday's concentration was "the most difficult" of all those organized by her entity. Paluzie recognized "discouragement and disenchantment for the divisions of political parties" and justified the puncture for the absence of horizons for an independence that had previously manifested before the 9-N consultation or the 1-O referendum. «Now we don't know what we are going to do. We were all against it, ”he insisted before demanding“ unity to finish what we started. ”

The platform 'Democratic Tsunami' (Catalan: Tsunami Democràtic) will plan actions to respond to the verdict which is expecting in the coming weeks. The flags were hung by volunteers from the fire brigade and were shown to the gathered crowd around 6 pm as the Catalan national anthem rang out.

The group was formed on September 2 to give a "disobedient" and "non-violent" response to the sentence. The initiative made its first action last Thursday after having been publicly presented through social networks. Members of the platform unfolded 11 banners in emblematic places in Lleida, Tarragona, Girona, Badalona, ​​Tortosa, Terrassa, and Barcelona, and 15,000 posters have been put up all over the country.

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2019/09/04

Political Prisoner Jordi Turull remembered in South Tyrol






At the memorial service by the 55 years of the killing of Luis Amplatz, murdered on behalf of Italy. Südtiroler Heimatbundes chairman, Roland Lang, remembered the Catalan political prisoners. In his greeting Lang spoke about Jordi Turull who would have been elected Regional President of the Catalan Parliament in March 2018 if the Spanish central government had not arrested him quickly the day before. Since this was not present in the debate on the election, he could not be appointed to Spanish, with laws that were still dating back to the Franco period. More than 300 people took part in the commemoration by Südtiroler Heimatbundes, Süd-Tiroler Freiheit, and Südtiroler Schützenbundes.

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2019/09/03

Catalan Day in Flanders

The Flemish Popular Movement (Vlaamse VolksBeweging) has called for a Flemish-Catalan Day in Antwerpen on Saturday September 7th. The programme is:
08.00 bus departure from Antwerp via Ghent and Bruges (Oostkamp).

09.30 reception at Casino Koksijde with coffee by the local team of Bachten De Kupe + arrival bus. A welcome word by the mayor.

10.30 Sofa talk about "the referendum of 1 October 2017 in Catalonia" in the theater room of the Casino

Nature and culture walks. Participation price: € 5. Choose from

- The Senegalese quarter (old residential area)

- Nature walk

- Willem Elschot walk

12.00 end of lecture and relocation of large party hall

12.15 end of walks to the Casino

12.30 tapas meal in Casino. Price: € 15 per person

13.45 gig Castellers of London in De Put

15.15 Casino Theater Room: dessert conversation about the future of Catalonia.

Mezzanine Casino: tourist information about Catalonia. Free.

Casino: music and poetry

16.15 second performance castellers (Astridplein Oostduinkerke)

17.30 pm start paella evening with a word from the local chairman Andreas Cavyn. Price: € 15 per person

19.00 return bus to Bruges (Oostkamp), Ghent and Antwerp

A registration form will be available for this.

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2019/09/01

52 French MPs demand that "repression against elected Catalans" cease

Nearly two years since Catalan separatists organized a referendum of self-determination, some of whom are still imprisoned or exiled, fifty-two French deputies from the left and the center demand that the "repression against elected Catalans" cease in a published forum on Sunday in the Le Journal du Dimanche (Sunday newspaper).
"Because of their political choices, for having wanted to organize a vote, elected officials are imprisoned, exiled, and risk being sentenced to heavy prison terms," ​​write these deputies, mostly from the groups IDU, Liberties and Territory, France insubordinate and GDR (communist).
 
"The respect of institutional rules is one thing, but we consider that the political debate can not be resolved by the repression, by attacks on the rights of the people, by a form of offense of opinion," they continue. "Like many voices in Spain and elsewhere, we call for the appeasement of tensions and the end of arbitrary measures that affect elected representatives of universal suffrage," they conclude.
UDI President Jean-Christophe Lagarde, PCF National Secretary Fabien Roussel, Rogue Leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Former Ministers Marie-George Buffet (PCF) and Sylvia Pinel (PRG), Deputy Régis Juanico (Generations) are among the signatories. The main trial of the attempted secession of Catalonia in October 2017 was completed in June. The verdict should be known in the fall.

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2019/08/29

"We are in a political conflict and this implies confrontation, even if it is never wanted"

"We are in a political conflict and this implies confrontation, even if it is never wanted" has said the General Secretary of Catalonia's Republican Left (ERC), Marta Rovira. She is now exiled in Switzerland after being prosecuted by her political ideas. Rovira also defends the dialogue as a way to solve the Spanish question in Catalonia but sayd thet "Spanish Repression has come to stay".
In the same sense the leader of the biggest civical pro independence movement, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Elisenda Paluzie, has said that "Renouncing unilateralism means renouncing independence."

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2019/08/21

Catalan president Torra says independence "will be a conquest, never a gift"


"Peaceful confrontation" and the "democratic rupture"

With bluntness and a good helping of self-criticism, Catalan president Quim Torra has today restarted the political year after the holidays during the Catalan Summer University current underway in France. From Prada, a town in French Catalonia (Prades in French), Torra called for this year's Diada (Catalan national day) on 11th September to mark the "starting signal" of the "final stretch of the [independence] process". He warned that this will require "sacrifices" and "risks", but argued that "all that's left is peaceful confrontation" and the "democratic rupture" to move ahead with independence.

The president criticised the "contempt" from acting Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez towards the pro-independence Catalan parties and that he made no reference to the Catalan crisis in the debate on investing him as prime minister in July. Torra said that this is the reason why his party wanted to amend the budget and voted against his investiture, and warned that they will do it again if there's no proposal for Catalonia. A position which contradicts what their government partners, ERC, say.

Call for an end to "partisan" infighting

In the heart of the debate within the pro-independence movement on what steps to take over the coming months, and waiting for the sentence in the trial following the 2017 independence push, the president admitted that the independence movement has not been "capable of moving forwards towards the objective". As such, he called for a new phase to start including them recovering the initiative and rebuilding trust. At this point, he also called for an end to "partisan" infighting and the "battles between independence supporters", a return to the spirit of unity and coming together to "rebuild the path".

"I ask for us to get going again. We have the responsibility to do it again. We cannot remain paralysed trying to manage asphyxiated powers as an autonomous community", he said in response to the criticism from certain sectors of the pro-independence movement which accuse the government of returning to the model of autonomous communities.

"No one should count on me to turn the 1st October into a melancholy memory,"
As such, Torra said that his aim isn't to "manage an autonomous community" and that he will always be on the side "of those who see the 1st October [2017 referendum] as the founding moment of the Catalan Republic". "No one should count on me to turn the 1st October into a melancholy memory," he said. He also committed to restoring Carles Puigdemont as president of Catalonia.


What he didn't clarify, however, is what his government's response will be to the upcoming verdicts in the referendum trial. He said attendees should listen to the speech he will give on 5th September in Madrid, which will be the "second half" of his remarks today in Prades. He did claim that his proposal will be "unequivocal, coherent and firm", that it will involve "all actors and spaces" and that it will mark a "before and an after".

Torra expressed support for not waiting for the verdicts and moving already from a "defensive strategy" to "initiative". He noted that independence is "never a gift", but a "conquest" and suggested a move to civil disobedience. Recalling the spirit of the 2017 referendum, he insisted "we'll do it again as many times as necessary".

During the speech, which lasted about forty-five minutes, the head of the Catalan executive avoided talking about the possibility of an early election, putting the focus instead on passing a new budget which would "drive the republic", in harmony with CUP. The president's words in Prades come the day after the president of ERC, imprisoned former vice-president Oriol Junqueras, argued in an interview with Catalunya Ràdio that the option of calling an election in response to the verdict shouldn't be dismissed. Torra met with the prisoners in Lledoners this Monday for over five hours, but no details of the conversation have emerged.

In his visit to Northern Catalonia, under French rule, Torra also visited Prats de Molló meeting the Mayor Claude Ferrer and paying a tribute to the monument of former Catalan President Francesc Macià. The colonel organized a plot to free Catalonia by military means in 1926 from Prats de Molló, in the Vallespir region.

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2019/08/01

Two Catalans condemned to jail for a protest the day that Carles Puigdemont was arrested

A Spanish court yesterday condemned by public disorder two activists from L'Hospitalet de Llobregat that on March 28, 2018 participated in the demonstrations of Barcelona against the arrest of Carles Puigdemont in Germany. The court considersthat Lluís Mollón and Laia Roca blocked the passage of the Mossos d'Esquadra during protests in the streets near the Spanish Government's delegation, and condemned them to one-year prison sentences - for her - and one year and a half - for him. In the trial Mollón was also tried for an attack on the authority, but the court ruled out condemning him for this crime because he believes that there was no intention to act against police officers.

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2019/07/29

Catalonia's President fined € 8,500 by Spain


Catalan President Quim Torra was given three separate fines for not withdrawing the yellow bows from official buildings during the electoral period, for a speech he gave on Saint George’s Day (Diada de Sant Jordi), and for his letter addressed to officials on the same date.

 The head of the Catalan government made the announcement on Monday, referring to the Spanish Inquisition Electoral Authority as a ‘censoring and repressive’ organisation, and said that the decision was made in defence of ‘freedom of expression’. ‘Whenever freedom of expression is punished, we will exercise it again,’ he added. Sources close to the president have specified that the government will appeal the three fines.

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2019/07/02

Thousands of Catalans protest outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg

Over 10,000 Catalan demonstrators (Police estimated) protested outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg on July 2nd to denounce the fact that three elected Catalan separatist politicians would not be allowed to take part in the Parliament’s inaugural session.
The demonstrators erected a scene in front of the institution, and public transport can not reach the Parliament, whichwelcomed the 751 newly eleceted MEPs from the recent European elections held in May.

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.




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2019/06/30

Catalan Society calls to a rally in the EU Parliament opening day in defence of the popular vote that made Catalan MEPs

A growing number of Catalan movements groups are joining a protest called at the European Parliament in Strasbourg - around 1000 kilometres from their home - initially prompted by the EU Parliament's action of preventing two Catalan MEPs-elect, Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín, from collecting their credentials as EU representatives on Wednesday.

The protest, scheduled for July 2nd and called by the Catalan exiles' body Council for the Republic, has now been joined by major pro-independence organization Catalan National Assembly (ANC) along with several other groups.

The Council for the Republic asked for a "mass demonstration of support for democracy and for the freedom of the political prisoners." The Council asserts that the EU chamber must not permit the exclusion of three Catalan MEPs elected on May 26th, referring to exiled president Carles Puigdemont, exiled minister Toni Comín and jailed vice president Oriol Junqueras.

Together for Catalonia (JxCat), the political party for which Carles Puidgdemont and Toni Comín won election, also confirmed they would attend "to defend the rights of the MEPs who people are trying to exclude and to assert the value of the over 2 million votes that they obtained." In addition, the pro-independence party demands that "the State stop the repression and release the political prisoners".

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2019/06/28

Hundreds call for absolution at the Spanish Government delegation

They were convoked by the political movement Crida Nacional per la República (Republic's National Call). On June 27th some hundreds rallied in front of the building of the Spanish government delegation after Madrid's government announced that Catalan autonomy will continue to be financial and economically blocked. Most of the demonstrators called for unity between the Catalan national parties.



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2019/06/26

Catalan President in Exile Carles Puigdemont in Geneve's Crans Montana Forum


The president in exile Carles Puigdemont, took the opportunity of his intervention in Geneve's Crans Montana Forum to make a call to the EU five days before the inauguration of the new legislature of the European Parliament. He warned that the political situation in the Spanish state, with the existence of political prisoners and exiles, directly confronts Europe with a "veritable test of the endurance of its democracy", and that Tuesday will be a key moment for EU's life with the opening of the new legislature in the Chamber.
Puigdemont, who made clear he was speaking as a political exile but also as an elected MEP, warned that the presence of both Oriol Junqueras and Toni Comín at the new legislature opening in the European Parliament will be important for them but even more so for European democracy, as it will send a message to the world: that "regardless political divergence, the will of the people remains the most important consideration"
In the opening event of the forum, the president denounced the existence of political prisoners in Spain, among which there are the former Catalan Parliament's speaker and also some of his own cabinet members, all accused of rebellion for having organised 1st Oct 2017 referendum.
He recalled the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions resolution which denounced the violation of fundamental rights and claimed the immediate release of the prisoners, stating that the response from the Spanish State did not respect that resolution.
"The problem is that this is taking place in the midst of EU's silence. Can you imagine what they would say if the country who was violating such a resolution was a non-European country?", he argued.
The president stated that even when he is an elected MEP, the same as Junqueras and Comín are, the Spanish authorities decided that none of them is to be present at the inauguration of the new legislature in the European Parliament next Tuesday, because the Spanish State has chosen to not have their names recorded in the list of elected MEPs with the argument that they had not attended the swearing of the Constitution in Madrid. He then added that, notwithstanding this, Junqueras did not get permission to leave prison to go to the Spanish Congress, while in his own case he had been warned that he would be detained if he did attend.
Puigdemont also said that the Treaty of Lisbon situates MEPs as the representatives of member states, or of the European citizens, and he explained that he had sent letters to the European Parliament arguing the violation of his fundamental rights but that he had received silence for an answer "as seems to be their norm".
For this reason, he warned of the risk of leaving 2 million European citizens out of the European Parliament, and of sending the message to the world that member states can block the entrance of political dissidence in the Chamber, and of citizens' votes for independence, or options different to the dominant ideology, being less worth than the rest

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2019/06/21

Former Catalonia's President Artur Mas calls to "active resistance"

The president has defined the proposal as holding and surviving but also advancing. He considers that Spanish politics is unable to make any proposal for a solution. It is limited to repress. To move forward, he proposes to take advantage of all the circumstances that exist in each moment:
- Greater legitimacy, with more social and electoral support
- improve international alliances
- Improve the scheme of government demonstrating that it is better to govern Catalonia from Catalonia


Artur Mas is disabled by the Spanish state to do politics for his involvement in the 2014 Democratic Referendum. In spite of this he says that the Aim is to accumulate the necessary forces to become an independent state in the European framework.



Link to the interview

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2019/06/20

Spanish policeman who fired the shot that caused an activist to lose an eye in referendum identified

Roger Español was hit by a rubber bullet during the 2017 independence referendum, later losing an eye as a consequence, the police officer who fired the shot has been identified by a human rights group.
In an independent study commissioned by the Irídia association, an expert criminologist looked into the images of the events during the October 1 vote in the Ramon Llull school, which was being used as a polling place, and managed to discover the officer's identity.
This comes after the judge investigating the actions of Spanish riot police in Barcelona on the day of the vote summoned 11 potential police shooters who were in the area at the time, but who all denied being the officer that fired the bullet that would take Español's sight.
Process of elimination
Beginning with an image of the moment the officer shot the bullet, in which his identity number cannot be seen, the criminologist used other images from the day and a computer measuring system in a process of elimination that led to officer number UC563.
Español's defense lawyer has now called on the investigating judge in Barcelona to summon to court the police shooter that the report identifies, as well as the superior officer who was in charge of the operation.
Meanwhile, Español explained the obstacles that the police had put in the way of the efforts to discover the officer's identity, and he sent a message of support to other victims of police rubber bullets, which are banned in Catalonia but still used by state police forces.

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2019/06/19

Carles Puigdemont MEP Press Conference in the European Parliament: "It's inconceivable that we shouldn't be at the inaugural session on 2nd July"



In a press conference in the European Parliament yesterday Catalonia's President in Exile said that he will appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union to be able to take his seat as an MEP. Spain's Central Electoral Commission rejected the attempts by lawyer Gonzalo Boye to satisfy the requirements for both Puigdmont and exiled minister Toni Comín to be accredited as MEPs.

The leader of Together for Catalonia (JxCa)t said that they hope to have "a decision before 2nd July", the day of the opening of the new legislature in the Parliament. "It's inconceivable that we shouldn't be at the inaugural session on 2nd July," said the president today. He added that "nobody" will go to Strasbourg in place of him, Comín or imprisoned former vice-president Oriol Junqueras. He also said he believes "strongly" in the court's "independence and strong commitment to democracy".

Carles Puigdemont has confirmed he will attend the opening of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 2nd July, his first visit to France since going into exile. That day, there has already been organised a protest outside the Parliament in favour of the right to self-determination and the release of the pro-independence prisoners.

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