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The Catalan Crisis is Getting Worse

06 October 2017

"The European Union came about as a project to safeguard and guarantee our rights and freedoms", she said.

One of Spain's biggest banks, Sabadell, is considering moving its legal headquarters out of Catalonia as the region's leaders edge close to secession from Spain.

Spain's prime minister, meanwhile, urged the separatist leader of the regional Catalan government to cancel plans for declaring independence to avoid "greater evils".

According to a bill passed by the Catalan parliament in September, the region will declare independence from Spain within 48 hours of a Yes vote.

After Sunday's vote, Catalan leaders said 90 percent of votes counted favored independence and that opened the door to a unilateral call for secession from the rest of Spain.

"Political risk is back on the agenda in Europe", NFS Macro analyst Nick Stamenkovic told AFP.

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Puigdemont has not explained the scope of his proposal for worldwide mediation, whether it would envisage a compromise short of independence or deal only with divorce arrangements. "But to say to the Spanish government that it is an internal matter for it to resolve they now have demonstrated that they are a participant in the problem that the Catalans were subjected to on Sunday, and therefore they can't be the people that will bring about a solution".

Accusing them of "disloyalty", the king said that the state had to "ensure constitutional order".

"Your decision yesterday disappointed many people in Catalonia". "He is deliberately ignoring millions of Catalans".

Puigdemont also accused the national government of failing to respond to proposals for mediation in the crisis.

But the court ordered suspension of that session while it hears an appeal by rival Catalan politicians, a spokeswoman said.

The sight of King Felipe intervening and condemning the referendum - a highly unusual move for the monarch - made many in Catalonia believe the next step would be troops on the streets.

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Scores were injured on Sunday as police moved in en masse, beating voters and protesters as they lay on the ground and dragging some by the hair.

Tension has been on the rise since the vote was called in early September, crystallizing years of defiance by separatists in the affluent region, which contributes mightily to Spain's ailing economy.

On Wednesday, the European Commission declared the Spanish government's "proportionate use of force" was necessary to uphold the law.

"I have to represent all of Catalonia's citizens", said Puigdemont, who also repeated his calls for dialogue and mediation with Madrid.

By taking a hard stance against pro-independence Catalans, he alienated many in the 7.5-million-strong region in "a very firm and very hard" manner, Romero said. As of yet, no countries have shown a willingness to recognize an independent Catalan state.

According to Catalan officials, more than 2.2 million people voted on Sunday and that almost 90 per cent of them backed independence. Now residents are anxious that the escalating conflict between Spanish and Catalan authorities will split the town in two.

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The Catalan Crisis is Getting Worse