European Parliament opens amid protest and discord

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The European Parliament has re-opened in Strasbourg with an anti-EU protest by the UK’s Brexit Party and a demonstration by Catalan nationalists whose MEPs are barred.

The first session after Europe-wide elections in May began as EU leaders went into a third day of talks on who should fill the bloc’s top jobs.

A plan emerged on Tuesday to nominate German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen as Commission president.
An earlier compromise deal collapsed.

Von der Leyen is being considered for the top job, while Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel is being considered for the key role of president of the European Council, according to German website Die Welt and other reports.

Christine Lagarde is being cited as a possible new head of the European Central Bank.

The French head of the International Monetary Fund served as economy minister during Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency.