Oriol Junqueras

Barcelona 11 April 1969

President

Oriol Junqueras’ family moved from Barcelona to nearby Sant Vicenç dels Horts when he was only two years old, which is why he considers Sant Vicenç his home town. Indeed, he often mentions that he is especially proud to have been its mayor. Oriol is a historian and a university lecturer. He has a degree in Modern and Contemporary History, a PhD in History of Economic Thought from the University of Barcelona, and has taught at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

He speaks Catalan, Spanish, Italian and English, and is trying to learn a little Chinese. He was an MEP between 2009 and 2011 and the mayor of his beloved town between 2011 and 2015. In 2011 he became the President of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, and a year later was elected a Member of the Catalan Parliament. In 2016, he was appointed Vice-President of the Government of Catalonia and Minister of Economy and Finance until the Spanish government illegally dismissed him by means of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution on 27 October 2017. In November 2017 he was remanded in custody on charges of rebellion and sedition, charges he has never admitted to, since as he said during the trial in the Supreme Court, “voting is not a crime, preventing it by force is.”

In 2019 he headed the Esquerra ticket in the Spanish elections of April 28 and the European elections of May 26. Esquerra Republicana won the elections to the Spanish Parliament in Catalonia for the first time, and since there was an insufficient majority to form a Spanish government, Esquerra won again in the election rerun on 10 November. On 14 October 2019, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison, but this has not stopped him from carrying on as party leader, driving the independence movement forward, defending the amnesty that must end the general cause against independence. He was able to participate in the Esquerra Republicana campaign for the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia in February 2021, in which Esquerra won, tying with the Catalan socialist PSC.

Beyond his academic and political career, Oriol Junqueras has appeared in various media such as Catalunya Ràdio, RAC1 and RNE, and has been a screenwriter and consultant for television documentary series such as L’Onze de Setembre de 1714 (11 September 1714), Els maquis: la guerra silenciada (The Maquis: the Silenced War), Conviure amb el risc (Living in Peril) and Barcelona sota el franquisme (Barcelona under the Franco Regime). He is also the author and co-author of over a dozen books. And interestingly, he has also engaged in research at the secret archive of the Vatican.