Catalan independence declaration will have no effect: Spanish PM

Catalan officials say people voted overwhelmingly for secession.

But Catalonia's President Carles Puigdemont has pledged to push ahead for independence anyway.

Protesters, some of whom arrived via bus or train from other parts of Spain, marched peacefully. "A period of prolonged and elevated tension in Catalonia or political uncertainty in Spain at large could weigh negatively on the economy and public finances". There is widespread opposition to a Catalan breakaway among people in the rest of the country.

Spanish police had tried to shut down the vote after the High Court ruled it illegal, and nearly 900 people were injured in the violent clashes with police than ensued.

Spain and the European Commission, the European Union's executive branch, maintain that Catalonia's independence referendum was illegal.

On Saturday, thousands of pro- and anti-independence supporters took to the streets across country to demand dialogue between Madrid and Barcelona.

Other indexes: The Stoxx 600 came off session highs in part as the U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.2% to 7,507.89, pulling back from a two-month high (

He has also threatened to suspend the region's existing autonomous status.

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.

Speaking on the BBC's Today programme on Monday morning, an MP and ex-minister from the ruling People's Party, Francisco Martinez Vazquez, hailed the anti-separatist march on Sunday and warned that "no one can talk on behalf of the whole of Catalonia".

The Spanish government sent thousands of national police to the region to prevent the vote.

"We reach out for dialogue but we'll support the response of the rule of law in the face of any attempt to break social harmony".

According to Spanish media, a sentence where Puigdemont added that "the declaration of independence is planned in the referendum law" and he "will apply what is planned in the law" was cut in the final version of the interview.

"The government will ensure that any declaration of independence will lead to nothing", Mr Rajoy told Spanish newspaper El Pais.

He said that he wants to talk "about Catalonia". Millions of people have voted, who want to decide.

Catalonia's secessionist leader is under pressure to abandon plans to declare independence as his statement is moved to Tuesday.

In a sign of the potential for violence, police beat unarmed voters while trying to close down polling stations during the referendum vote.

On Friday the Madrid government passed an emergency declaration that allows companies to move their headquarters without a formal vote of shareholders.

Telecommunications group Cellnex, and Colonial, a construction company, are also likely to follow the growing exodus out of the region following executive level discussions. Major lenders Caixabank and Sabadell have already resolved to leave the region.

  • Leroy Wright