Spain court orders Catalan independence session suspended

Puigdemont is expected to formally declare independence on Monday, after 90% of voters in last Sunday's referendum opted for a split.

Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans said the Spanish constitution must be followed.

Catalonia accounts for almost a fifth of Spain's economy, and it leads all regions in producing 25% of the country's exports.

The court said it had agreed to consider a legal challenge filed by the anti-secessionist Catalan Socialist Party.

Josep Lluís Trapero was called to testify in Madrid on Friday: Spanish authorities believe Trapero's 17,000-strong force did not do enough to prevent the banned referendum from taking place.

Ninety percent of voters backed independence in the referendum with turnout just over 42 percent, according to Catalan authorities. Puigdemont said the results of the vote validated the push to secede. There have been several claims of irregularities.

THE EUROPEAN Commission has been facing widespread criticism over its response to the scenes of violence in Catalonia, where Spanish police forces injured nearly 900 Catalan voters on Sunday.

Commenting on King Felipe VI's speech, Actis said that it "tries to draw attention to the fact that the independence of Catalonia, which should sever ties with Spain and the European Union, will lead to an economic crisis, both for Madrid and for the anticipated future of the Catalan state".

However the bank is studying the possibility of keeping its central services in Catalonia even if it moves its headquarters.

3 October: In a TV address, King Felipe said referendum organisers had showed their "disrespect to the powers of the state" and broken the rule of law.

"According to how the session goes, independence could be declared", a regional government source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He did not elaborate but ruling party lawmakers say that Rajoy, a conservative who has taken a hard line on Catalan independence, is considering the unprecedented step of dissolving the Catalan parliament and triggering regional elections.

"The cost of insuring against potential losses on Spanish bank debt and Spanish, Italian and Portuguese sovereign debt has also jumped, suggesting an impact on the wider eurozone", Reuters adds.

Barcelona Football Club and its captain Andres Iniesta also urged dialogue as a solution. "Do it for all of us. Do it for all of us, as we deserve to live in peace".

Some MEPs in the group have been in favour of a European Union mediation, while others consider that the Catalan crisis is a domestic issue and a question of national sovereignty.

President Donald Trump also rejected the independence movement; the Catalan nationalists' only backers are separatist-ruled Scotland, the pariah government of Venezuela and Russia's intelligence and propaganda apparatus, which mobilized its media outlets and social media bots in support of the separatists. Spaniards call it "the nuclear option".

Expressing his disappointment with Spain's king, Puigdemont said Catalans are determined to gain independence.

The condition of the central government to start negotiations is for the Catalans to abide by the law and give up the declaration of independence. But Mr Rajoy hopes the weight of Spanish law will now serve to divide Catalonia's pro-independence parties - which range from the moderate to the radical - and weaken their resolve.

  • Julie Sanders