As voters in Catalonia ready themselves for Thursday’s election results, they will not be alone in anxious anticipation. Nobody has bet more on the outcome than Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who has urged Catalans to step back from what he sees as an illegal, reckless insistence on independence.
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has said regional elections next month in Catalonia will help end separatist havoc in the northeastern region. Rajoy addressed a campaign event on Sunday on his first visit since imposing direct rule on the region a fortnight ago.
Spain is considering constitutional changes that could allow its regions to hold referendums on independence in the future, the foreign minister says. Alfonso Dastis has told the BBC a nationwide vote on the issue could be held.
Spain’s government has approved a decree that would make it easier for companies in Catalonia to move the location of their official registration out of the region. The move will allow the relocation of Caixabank, Spain’s third largest bank by assets, before next week, when separatist authorities in Catalonia want to declare independence.
A top Spanish government official in Catalonia has expressed regret about those injured when police cracked down on people taking part in a banned referendum.
Three full days after Catalonia’s controversial independence referendum, a top European Commission official finally spoke out about the issue tearing Spain apart. The Spanish government’s “proportionate use of force” was necessary to uphold the rule of law, Vice President Frans Timmermans said.
Catalonia will declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, the leader of the autonomous region has told the BBC. In his first interview since Sunday's referendum, Carles Puigdemont said his government would “act at the end of this week or the beginning of next”.
Barcelona's La Liga game against Las Palmas was played behind closed doors as a protest after their request for it to be postponed in light of Catalonian independence referendum was rejected. The Spanish government pledged to stop a poll declared illegal on a day of violent protests and unrest.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said on Sunday that the Spanish region has won the right to statehood following a contentious referendum that was marred by violence. He said the door had been opened to a unilateral declaration of independence. Catalan officials later said 90% of those who voted backed independence in Sunday's vote. The turnout was 42.3%.
Barcelona police have sealed off a warehouse said to be stocking ballot boxes, as Spain seeks to obstruct a Catalan independence referendum. The Guàrdia Urbana force was obeying an order from prosecutors to prevent the Catalan vote being held on Sunday. About 16,000 school and university students marched through Barcelona demanding that the vote go ahead.