Catalan leaders under pressure over independence threat to break away from Spain

Spain's Sabadell Bank in Barcelona

After an illegal referendum over independence was held last Sunday, several companies made a decision to move their headquarters away from this Spanish northeastern region.

"Each one may be in favor of or against independence", a young woman said. It would therefore " be a candidate to become a member of the Union", then negotiations would be undertaken to integrate with the EU after a fire, green -with the unanimity of the 28 member States.

Ramon Tremosa, an European Union lawmaker from PDeCAT, told Onda Vasca radio on Monday that Puigdemont could follow the example of Slovenia, which declared independence in 1991 following an unauthorized referendum, but waited months before enacting it.

Spain faces a week of deep political uncertainty as the secessionist leader of Catalonia considers whether to make a unilateral declaration of independence, against the backdrop of a bitter standoff with the central government in Madrid.

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

Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian-born author known for his right-wing views, is attending the rally and has denounced Catalan independence, calling it a nationalist movement that will bring down Spain. It is home to 7.5 million people and accounts for about a fifth of Spain's economy.

Tension is building throughout Spain on Monday, with less than 24 hours from a possible declaration of independence from the Catalan government.




However, Mr Puigdemont's plans were derailed by the Constitutional Court which ruled that a special plenary session to debate the referendum results would be suspended on Monday.

Barcelona police said 350,000 took part in Sunday's march.

Head of euro rates strategy Peter Chatwell told Reuters: "It is expected that Puigdemont will on Tuesday say an independence bid in the future will be considered, which is a dramatic step back from expectations last week that a deceleration of independence is imminent".

In Madrid, protesters wore stickers that read: "Catalonia, we love you".

The vote, which was won by the Yes side, was broken up by police, who beat voters with batons. There is no certain confirmation of this move, however, with Catalan lawmakers unofficially saying that they will stop short of the independence declaration, opting for more of a "symbolic statement".

THE SNP has further entrenched its support for the people of Catalonia in the aftermath of the embattled Catalan independence referendum with a topical resolution calling for global mediators to find an "agreed solution" to Catalonia's standoff with the Spanish Government.

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