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Catalan conundrum for European Parliament after top court opinion

Catalan conundrum for European Parliament after top court opinion
By Ana Lazaro
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The EU's top court opinion is a boost for the Catalan separatist movement and Oriol Junqueras, who was voted into the European Parliament in May despite being detained in Spain since 2017 following an illegal independence referendum.


The former deputy leader of Catalonia, jailed in Spain for helping to orchestrate an illegal independence referendum, had the right to ask the European Parliament whether to uphold his immunity.

At least this is the opinion of the general lawyer of the Court of Justice of the European Union, according to which, he obtained immunity when he was elected.

The supporters of Catalan independence believe that the opinion proves them right.

"Maybe it is too early to talk about victories, I want to be prudent and respectful. But it shows that what has been defended, what we have been defending, has a lot of logic and makes perfect sense," Meritxell Serret, representative of the Government of Catalonia to the EU told Euronews.

To prevent this situation from repeating itself, the general lawyer proposes that it is up to the European Parliament to decide on immunity.

"We based our decision on the opinion of our juridical service, following the judgments, the procedures and the regulations adopted till now. If the Court decides differently, we are ready to take note. And this of course in a serene relationship without feeding tensions," David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament told Euronews.

Almost nothing changes for Junqueras, since there is a firm judgment against him. But if the European Court of Justice confirms the sentence, it could set a precedent for former President Carles Puigdemont, who is also unable to sit in the European Parliament since being elected an MEP.

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