Thousands March Against Catalonia's Independence as Tensions Rise

Thousands March Against Catalonia's Independence as Tensions Rise

They marched across 50 Spanish cities, carrying banners calling for peace and dialogue between leaders.

Catalan leaders say 90 percent of those who went to the polls voted to break with Spain.

French European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said her country will not recognize Catalonia if it declares independence from Spain, clarifying such a move will mean Catalan exit from the EU.

"We believe that we know what the Spanish people are thinking".

On Tuesday King Felipe addressed the nation in a televised speech but failed to acknowledge the violence perpetrated against Catalan voters, and said nothing of the need for mediation to resolve the crisis.

"If independence were to be recognized - which is not something that's being discussed - the most immediate effect would be that (Catalonia) automatically left the European Union", she said.

A week on from a referendum on independence which the government did its utmost to thwart, more signs were emerging that the fraught situation was also taking its toll on the business climate of Spain's wealthiest region.

Women wear masks during a pro-union demonstration organised by the Catalan Civil Society organisation in Barcelona, Spain, October 8, 2017.

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At the weekend Freixent president, Jose Luis Bonet, was quoted as saying: "If we really are headed for a unilateral declaration of independence, there will be a major exit of firms from Catalonia, which will cause grave damage to Catalonia".

Pascal said that Puigdemont would recognise the referendum results and commit to seeking independence.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy could suspend the existing autonomous status that Catalonia enjoys under the country's system of regional governments.

The European Union has already said Catalonia would be expelled from the bloc and its shared currency, the euro, if it declares independence. After declaring independence for the region in 1934, Companys was sentenced to 30 years in prison for rebellion.

"I think that whatever they do, they have made us angry, and I think we have seen that a. part of Spain doesn't like us - the king doesn't like us either and so I think that, also because of how they've treated us just now, there is no turning back".

Salellas says that Tuesday's parliamentary session in Barcelona will be an "act of sovereignty" in which "a political subject called Catalonia decides to self-determine and declare itself a republic". Separatist politicians say they will move ahead with an independence declaration despite Spain's objections.

"What is happening in Catalonia is real, whether they like it or not".

The region, home to 7.5 million people with their own language and cultural traditions, accounts for a fifth of Spain's economy.

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