Catalonia Crisis: Interests of Entire Europe at Stake

Banco Sabadell relocates outside of Catalonia

Only 43 per cent of the electorate voted and many boycotted the poll which was ruled to be illegal by the Constitutional Court.

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy has warned he would not rule out anything "within the law" to halt Catalonian independence.

Sporting white shirts, protesters packed Barcelona's Sant Jaume Square where the Catalan government has its presidential palace, shouting "We want to talk!" and holding signs saying "More Negotiation, Less Testosterone!" and "Talk or Resign!"

Within hours CaixaBank, Spains third-biggest lender and Catalonias biggest company, said its board had chose to move its registered office to Valencia.

It wasn't clear how many people might have come in from other cities. Thousands of supporters of the union counter-protested the sea of white with Spanish flags.

Political instability in Catalonia has already caused major banks and companies to relocate their headquarters to other parts of Spain and has polarized Catalan society, where roughly half of the citizens want to stay in Spain.

"We have seen attempts to vote, we have seen ballot boxes, polling stations, a lot of people trying to vote". Instead, hundreds of voters were left in need of medical attention.

The warning comes after Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said that the Catalan parliament would declare independence "in the coming days", as the result of an unsanctioned referendum in which more than 90 percent of those who voted backed independence.

Catalan regional Parliament speaker Carme Forcadell speaks to reporters inside the Parliament of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, October 5, 2017.

Hundreds of thousands of separatists also took to the streets last Tuesday during a general strike, in protest of Spain's crackdown during the vote.

In a festive atmosphere, protesters assembled in the Plaza de Colón, and placed on the ground a large flag of Spain, while shouting slogans such as "Puigdemont to Prison" or "Long live the National Police and Civil Guard".

Other companies are considering such a move to ensure that the region's possible secession wouldn't knock them out of the European Union and its lucrative common market.

Gas Natural said its board had made a decision to move its registered office to Madrid for as long as the legal uncertainty in Catalonia continued, joining moves by several other companies.

Santi Vila, Catalonia's regional chief for business, told Cadena SER Radio late Friday that he's pushing for "a new opportunity for dialogue" with Spanish authorities.

"We are going to stop independence from happening".

Once Catalonia declares independence, a so-called "Law on Transition" would come into effect establishing the region as a "democratic and social" republic, and opening a period for it to set up its own laws and institutions.

Spain's Constitutional Court suspended the referendum law shortly after it was passed while it considers arguments that it is unconstitutional.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont now plans to address the Catalan parliament on Tuesday at 18:00 local time (16:00 GMT), the speaker of the parliament in the autonomous north-eastern region says.



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