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Protests mar the opening of the European Parliament

Protests mar the opening of the European Parliament
Highlights

There was also a protest against decision to deny Catalan separatist Carles Puigdemont taking his seat and a defense of the German ship captain who is held in Italy in a standoff over migrant rights.

STRASBOURG (FRANCE): Legislators from right-wing parties, Brexiteers and Catalan independence backers have disrupted the formal opening session of the European Parliament.

Some refused to stand as a jazz ensemble started playing the EU's anthem -- Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' -- while others, notably from Britain's Brexit Party, turned their backs on the proceedings.

There was also a protest against the decision to deny Catalan separatist Carles Puigdemont taking his seat and a defense of the German ship captain who is held in Italy in a standoff over migrant rights.

After the formal opening, normal proceedings soon resumed.

Tuesday marks the first day in the new five-year session of the legislature following the May elections which set the scene for a more fractured parliament.

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