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PROTESTS

French tourist died at airport blockade during Barcelona protests

A 65-year-old French tourist suffered a heart attack and died after being forced to walk 4km to reach the Barcelona airport during protests staged against the jailing of Catalan separatist leaders, it has emerged.

French tourist died at airport blockade during Barcelona protests
Protesers barracaded the airport in Barcelona on Monday. Photo: AFP

The tourist was attempting to reach Terminal 2 to fly home when he was caught up in the demonstrations which saw the airport blockaded on Monday afternoon.

Transport was cut off to the airport and roads around El Prat were blocked after Tsunami Democrátic used social media to mobilized protesters to focus on the airport.

The man and his wife were among the thousands of travellers caught up in the demonstrations.

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Protesters blocked the roads to the airport on Monday. Photo: AFP

Health authorities have revealed that the man collapsed in the parking area of Terminal 2 after trekking 4km with his wife to reach the airport.

The Frenchman was found by a member of airline staff who alerted emergency services at the airport and they attempt to keep him alive using a defibrillator until he could be airlifted to the nearest hospital, according to sources quoted by Europa Press.

Health authorities confirmed that he had later died in nearby Bellvitge Hospital.

Scores of people have been hurt and dozens arrested in the past two nightsof clashes between protesters and police in Barcelona and other Catalan cities.    

One protester lost his eye on Monday after being shot at by police using rubber bullets to control the crowds

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez heldemergency talks with opposition leaders on Wednesday about violent protests by separatists in Catalonia.

In a tweet, Sanchez said the government “firmly and resoundingly condemnsthe violence that seeks to break co-existence in Catalonia.”   

 

Sanchez received conservative opposition leader Pablo Casado of the Popular Party on Wednesday morning.   

He was scheduled to meet later with the leaders of centre-right Ciudadanosand far-left Podemos.   

He said he would “convey the government's determination to guarantee security, with firmness, proportionality and unity.”

In Barcelona on Tuesday night, police charged hundreds of masked demonstrators who threw projectiles at officers and set garbage bins and cardboard boxes on fire.

On Wednesday thousands of protesters departed on foot along highways fromfive Catalan towns towards Barcelona.   

They planned to gather there on Friday, when unions have called a general strike in the region.   

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PROTESTS

Students blockade Paris schools in election protest

Students blockaded five schools in Paris on Tuesday to demonstrate their political concerns ahead of the second round of the Presidential elections on Sunday.

Students blockade Paris schools in election protest

In addition to the five blockaded lycées, the université Paris 8 in Saint-Denis was closed “for security reasons”.

The students – who are too young to make their voices heard at the ballot box – were protesting against the options available to voters in the second round – where incumbent Emmanuel Macron takes on far-right leader Marine Le Pen – and follows earlier student protests at the Sorbonne.

Many were demonstrating in protest at what they saw as inadequate policies on climate change and social issues from both candidates in the final round of voting, as well as the lack of choice for the electorate.

“It is a continuation of what happened at the Sorbonne,” one student told AFP. “We want a third social round, because the two candidates qualified for the second round have no social or ecological programmes. 

“We want to give a new breath to this Fifth Republic a little at the end of the race.

“We are fed up with the fascist state. We are here against Marine Le Pen, against fascism, for the climate and against capitalism,” another student at the lycée Louis-le-Grand in the capital’s fifth arrondissement said.

“We have blocked all the entrances. We will stay there as long as possible.”

About 100 students blockaded the prestigious school. Some students chant slogans against the “Front National” – the former name of second-round candidate Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National party.

The blockades ended peacefully at the end of the day.

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