Barcelona mayor warns against Catalonia independence declaration


Although it is not know what Puigdemont might say, any declaration of independence from the region would likely lead to more violence.

A lawmaker with the Catalan CUP party told The Associated Press that the far-left separatists won't accept compromise on the issue.

Pro-independence leader Carles Puigdemont is coming under increasing pressure after a number of Catalan-based companies re-located outside of the region in the wake of an unofficial independence vote just over a week ago.

Rajoy has said the central government could take direct control of Catalonia, which now enjoys a measure of autonomy.

The letter says "no side is free of errors" in this process but calls for "mediation and negotiations toward a peaceful resolution of the current standoff". Its European affairs minister said, "This crisis needs to be resolved through dialogue".

"The days are going by and if the Spanish state does not give a positive response, we will do what we set out to do".

The Washington Post reports that Spain's King Felipe VI has said that he is not willing to negotiate under the threat of a unilateral declaration, which could mean that the Spanish government is ready to invoke Article 155 of the country's Constitution, which allows it to take over the functions of a regional government if that government violates the Constitution.

Meanwhile, shares on Spain's Ibex index rose more than 0.6 per cent after a larger than expected turnout at Sunday's demonstrations in Barcelona calling for unity.

The Madrid government, grappling with Spain's biggest political crisis since an attempted military coup in 1981, made it clear that it would respond immediately to any such unilateral declaration.

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"Credibility and dignity suggest making the declaration of independence tomorrow (Tuesday)", Jordi Sanchez, the head of the civil group National Catalonia Assembly, said Monday. "We will do everything that legislation allows us to ensure this", Rajoy told German newspaper Die Welt.

Rajoy has warned Catalonia not to act on an October 1 independence referendum.

The prime minister's interview comes a week after separatist leaders of the Catalan government held a referendum on secession that Spain's top court had suspended and the Spanish government said was illegal.

Rajoy added "we will prevent this independence from taking place". Tensions are high. The people will no doubt take to the streets.

With its own language and cultural traditions, demands for independence in Catalonia date back centuries but have surged during recent years of economic hardship.

Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told COPE radio that "if they declare independence, there will be decisions to restore the law and democracy".

The comment, undoubtedly directed at Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, was received with indignation.

She called for members of the Catalan government "who still respect democracy and freedom to refrain from jumping into the void".

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