Huge crowds rally against Catalan secession

Banco Sabadell relocates outside of Catalonia

Meanwhile, protesters dressed in white and called for talks between the Spanish government and Catalonia in order to defuse the country's worst political crisis since the civil war last century.

Protestors packed Barcelona's Sant Jaume Square where the Catalan government has its presidential palace, shouting "We want to talk!" and holding signs saying "More Negotiation, Less Testosterone!" and "Talk or Resign!"

Many in the crowd forming in a central square are carrying Spanish and Catalan flags.

Protesters flocked to Barcelona on Sunday wrapped in Spanish flags to rally against plans by separatist leaders to declare Catalonia independent following a banned secession referendum. Some of the demonstrators took to rooftops, including families with children, and leaned over ledges from their perches overlooking the streets below to wave giant Spanish flags in a city accustomed to the prevalence of the Catalan "estelada".

Within hours CaixaBank, Spains third-biggest lender and Catalonias biggest company, said its board had made a decision to move its registered office to Valencia. The police crackdown on the independence referendum in the affluent Spanish region led to over 800 people being injured and mass protests, with 700,000 people taking to the streets of Barcelona to vent their anger and voice support for the local authorities.

"Spain will be Spain and will continue to be it for a long time", the prime minister added.

Catalan leaders have said more than 90 percent of poll-goers voted for secession, but turnout was limited to 42 percent of eligible voters, as police occupied many polling places.

Almost 900 people were injured as the police, trying to enforce a Spanish court ban on the vote, attempted to disperse voters.

A former Prime Minister of France has said the idea of Catalonia receiving independence from Spain would be "madness".

Once Catalonia declares independence, a so-called "Law on Transition" would come into effect establishing the region as a "democratic and social" republic, and opening a period for it to set up its own laws and institutions.

Commenting on the possibility of applying Article 155 of the constitution of the kingdom, which will deprive Catalonia the status of autonomy, he noted: "I do not exclude absolutely nothing that the law allows".

The referendum on independence of Catalonia was held, despite its invalidation by the Spanish constitutional Court.

Image: Organisers claimed a million people joined the march.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said he is open to mediation, but Rajoy has demanded he give up the independence campaign before discussions can be held.

Experts believe that Catalonia's referendum is "the situation has already caused a serious constitutional crisis" amid no clear timeline for an independence declaration and hesitations.

"We like how things have been up until now and want to go on like this".

"I can do nothing but regret it, apologise on behalf of the officers who intervened", said the government's representative in Catalonia, Enric Millo.

The constitution establishes "the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation, a common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards" whose "national sovereignty resides in the Spanish people".

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