Spanish Premier Issues New Warning Against Catalan Separatists

Albert Gea  Reuters
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont delivers a speech in the Catalan regional parliament in Barcelona

"I urge the Spanish government and the regional government of Catalonia to renew their commitment to a resolution through dialogue", the former United Nations chief added.

The influential business community has indicated its unhappiness with the prospect of independence under current circumstances, Catalonia's two major banks, CaixaBank and Banco Sabadell, energy giant Gas Natural and the company that provides Barcelona's water have all decided in recent days to move their headquarters to other parts of Spain because of a desire to stay within the EU. The vote has not benefited from the guarantees usually required (electoral commission, assessors, electoral lists, public, secret ballot, etc.), making it unlikely the recognition by the 28 independence of Catalonia proclaimed on this basis.

Turnout figures were impressive, but were still lower than what was achieved by the pro-independence camp in an October 3 general strike, when 700,000 people took to Barcelona's streets, according to Guardia Urbana estimates.

But the result was not as decisive as it appeared - turnout was only 43%.

Members of Puigdemont's Popular Unity Candidacy party (CUP) had threatened to meet in Parliament on Monday anyway, in an act of defiance, but it is unclear if they will.

Puigdemont rescheduled a session of the Catalan Parliament for Tuesday after Spain's Constitutional Court suspended Monday's session.

The address could be the moment when Catalonia's leader declares that the region will break away.

The SNP has urged Spain to "respect" the overwhelming pro-independence vote in the disputed Catalan referendum.

The Catalan authorities say more than 90 percent of those who voted backed secession, but opinion polls on the issue suggest the region is more closely divided.

Rajoy will not rule out suspending Catalonia's autonomy
Key events since Catalonia independence vote

It's not clear what might happen if Catalonia does actually try to secede.

Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards rallied Sunday in a tide of red and yellow national flags in what is the worst upheaval since the country returned to democracy in the 1970s.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont vowed to press ahead with his independence drive in a declaration due as soon as Tuesday, while Rajoy pledged that "national unity will be maintained" by using all instruments available to him.

The Premier League has emerged as one of the possible destinations for Catalan clubs, should the region gain independence, but Wenger warned it would make little sense for the Nou Camp giants to play on British shores.

On social media, people could be seen booing Catalan police, whose chief is suspected of collusion with separatists. About 900 people were injured when officers fired rubber bullets and charged crowds with truncheons in scenes that shocked Spain and the world, and dramatically escalated the dispute.

Rajoy said that includes the application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which would allow the central government to take control of the governance of a region "if the regional government does not comply with the obligations of the Constitution".

"I didn't feel that repressed until what happened on October 1", said 25-year-old student Mireya Jimenez.

Rajoy was forced to apologize on Friday, but many in Catalan say the crackdown has only fueled their desire for independence.

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