The former Vice President of Catalonia, Oriol Junqueras
Born in 1969 in Barcelona, Oriol Junqueras i Vies grew up in neighbouring town Sant Vicenç dels Horts. After graduating in modern and contemporary History from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, he became professor in this and other universities.
A supporter of Catalan independence and with a wide professional and academic experience throughout Europe, Junqueras joined the nationalist Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC). He was elected to the European Parliament in 2009, a seat he held until January 2012 and which he combined with Sant Vicenç dels Horts’ mayoralty, which he held since 2011.
In 2012 he was elected as a member of the Parliament of Catalonia for the Province of Barcelona. In January 2016, following an agreement between Junts pel Sí (‘Together for Yes’) an electoral alliance between former Convergència and ERC.
After the list won the elections in 2015, Junqueras was appointed Vice President of Catalonia and Catalan Minister of Economy and Finance by Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont.
After the 1st of October pro-independence referendum in Catalonia and the political declaration in the Catalan Parliament on the 27th of October, Spain imposed direct rule and dissolved the Catalan Parliament.
Father of two, Junqueras was imprisoned on the 2th of November 2017 and is awaiting trial since then. He faces charges of rebellion and embezzlement for allowing the 1st of October vote.
Junqueras’ wide range of professional colleagues and personal network, have launched the campaign ‘Free Junqueras’ (www.freejunqueras.org) to claim his immediate release and to internationalise the Catalonian case and to democratise European institutions.