Spanish gov't to take measures if Catalonia region unilaterally declares independence

Catalonia Spain Wall Mural Street Art Graffiti

People raise arms and shout during a demonstration two days after the banned independence referendum in Barcelona, Spain, October 3, 2017.

As NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from Barcelona, Catalonia's capital, the people in the region are almost evenly divided over the issue of independence even though many who are in favor of staying with Spain may not have voted in the referendum.

Separatist leaders in the wealthy region have threatened to declare independence from Spain - the fourth biggest economy in the eurozone - setting off a severe political crisis that has unsettled businesses and investors. A month ago, a million people rallied in the city to support independence.

Andrea Ciccone, head of strategy at TS Lombard, said: "Beyond Catalonia, it is the Italian election we are concerned about". "I believe we know what Spaniards think, and they should know that the government too is clear about what it has to do".

The conflict over a self-determination vote has been dragging on for six years but Catalan separatists staged an independence referendum on October 1 despite Spain's insistence it was illegal.

The Catalan government on Friday published final results from the referendum indicating that 90 per cent of voters backed the proposal to break away from Spain. Pro-independence protests were attracting large numbers and he benefited politically from a violent crackdown by Spanish police during the referendum voting. Spanish police, ordered to prevent the referendum, clashed with voters and supporters, and Catalan officials said over 900 people were injured.

Losing Catalonia is nearly unthinkable for the Spanish government. It would deprive Spain of a fifth of its economic output and more than a quarter of its exports. Catalonia is also the top destination for foreign tourists, attracting about a quarter of Spain's total. "We want Barcelona to once again be the capital of Spanish culture".

F1: Palmer OUT, Sainz IN At Renault
Palmer's exit means a return to Toro Rosso for Russian Daniil Kvyat , who was recently axed in favour of French rookie Pierre Gasly .

But uncertainty still haunts the country, with the standoff also raising deep concerns in the European Union as it continues to grapple with Britain's planned exit from the bloc. However, some demonstrators carried signs urging Rajoy to trigger Article 155 of the constitution, the so-called nuclear option which could be used to revoke the region's autonomy.

"If it [independence] happens, I'll immediately branch out to the Catalan clubs in the League", Tebas said in an interview with Spanish broadcaster Gol TV.

The ideal would be not to have to take drastic measures.

Catalonia is not the only crisis threatening to plunge the Eurozone into a fresh financial crisis, leaders are also watching Italy's upcoming election and the rise of populism.

He ruled out using mediators to resolve the crisis - something Puigdemont has said he is open to - and added the issue would not force a snap national election. "We're always going to be at the negotiation table, but to start negotiations we need the other party to negotiate with".

Nobel literature prize victor Mario Vargas Llosa warned in an address to the crowd at the end of the rally that "passion can be destructive and ferocious when it is fuelled by fanaticism and racism". He told reporters it showed many Catalans "don't want the coup d'├ętat the Catalan government is fostering".

The day before, between 50,000 and 150,000 people had demonstrated in Madrid to defend Spain's unity.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top New Breast Cancer Testing To Reduce Mastectomies
Oct 10, 2017 - 00:23
It is the time to inform people about it and to educate them and tell them about its effects, prevention and treatment methods. The test will initially be available for patients having BRCA1 and 2 gene mutations, with a family history of breast cancer .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Feinstein running for reelection next year
Oct 10, 2017 - 00:22
Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., as she talks to reporters at a news conference at on Capitol Hill in Washington.Associated Press/J. California's increasingly progressive political environment has left more "moderate" Democratic candidates on the defense.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Bigg Boss 11: All you need to know about Sabyasachi Satapathy
Oct 10, 2017 - 00:22
On Saturday's episode, Salman promised to make a "dog" of him and called him a " nalla don". After a dramatic first week, Bigg Boss 11 makers have entered the second week of the show.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Inferno Engulfs Napa and Sonoma Counties
Oct 10, 2017 - 00:13
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection director Ken Pimlott had earlier said that there would likely be fatalities. The Sonoma County Fairgrounds is open for people with large animals; access the fairgrounds via Gate 7 on Aston Avenue.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Wales' National Anthem Ahead Of Ireland Clash Was Ultra Special
Oct 10, 2017 - 00:08
In the run-up to the round, the Irish home lost to Serbia 0: 1, reducing the opportunity to qualify. Serbia are guaranteed a top-two position and therefore one of Wales and Ireland will miss out.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top All Blacks completes Rugby Championship campaign with a 100% record
Oct 10, 2017 - 00:05
All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith has described the first half of the Test match against South Africa felt like playing two matches. South Africa responded again with a bust by Marx, who put Du Preez clear.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Indigenous Peoples Day? Italians say stick with Columbus
Oct 10, 2017 - 00:05
Leonard Riggio, the founder and chairman of Barnes & Noble, is this year's Columbus Day Parade Grand Marshal. The explorer also sent a number of natives to Spain to be sold, and many died en route.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Johnson, No. 12 Auburn beat Ole Miss
Oct 09, 2017 - 00:37
It just felt really good to being normal again". (7:31) Kerryon Johnson carries it in from 17 yards out for a TD. Taking the yards that were there and living to fight another day, as he put it.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Girlfriend: Shooter 'Would Lie in Bed Just Moaning, Screaming'
Oct 09, 2017 - 00:36
News' Pete Williams says that research may have involved outdoor concerts and hotel rooms overlooking those concerts. Ms Danley said she believed it was Paddock's way of breaking up with her.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Chargers - Giants: Week 5 score, highlights
Oct 09, 2017 - 00:36
TE Hunter Henry became the sixth opposing tight end to score a touchdown against the Giants defense this season. Running back Orleans Darkwa, who got the start for the injured Paul Perkins, recorded a 23-yard touchdown run.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Gal Gadot & Kate McKinnon Kiss in 'Wonder Woman' Parody
Oct 09, 2017 - 00:36
Gal Gadot and Kate McKinnon kissing is just saved my life. The only thing better than one Wonder Woman is two. I mean, I like hummus, but come on.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Star Wars 8: Lucasfilm confirms when The Last Jedi trailer will drop
Oct 09, 2017 - 00:35
To coincide with the trailers release, tickets will officially go on sale tomorrow night during Monday Night Football on ESPN. ESPN and Disney will once again take advantage of corporate synergy to benefit two of the company's biggest properties.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Las Vegas gunman booked hotel overlooking Lollapalooza
Oct 09, 2017 - 00:34
The No. 2 official in the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday he was surprised investigators had not uncovered more. The official stressed the information was preliminary and investigators haven't uncovered any solid evidence yet.

Saudi king signs lucrative deals on landmark Russian Federation visit
Oct 09, 2017 - 00:34
He also said that that Riyadh is "eager to continue the positive cooperation between our nations in the world oil market". Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia announce large investment agreements and joint ventures to further cement relations.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Western Michigan TE's sister celebrates TD on field, ejected
Oct 09, 2017 - 00:30
The game took seven overtimes to finish, tying it for the longest game in the history of the Football Bowl Subdivision. Apparently the sister of Western Michigan TE Donnie Ernsberger got a bit too excited after his touchdown.