Spain's 'Breakaway' Catalonia Region Relies on SGR

Barca protest against Catalonia violence

Catalonia Nears Independence After Referendum

Some 900 people were injured as police attempted to prevent people casting their ballots in the referendum, which has been controversial in both Spain and Catalonia.

"I also say that if the coach [Julen Lopetegui] or anyone from the [Spanish football] federation thinks that I'm a problem or a nuisance then I will step aside and leave the national team before 2018".

Such a declaration, though lacking legal force, would present a historic constitutional challenge to Rajoy who has accused supporters of independence of trying to "blackmail. the whole nation".

But Catalan leaders claimed the results showed the region had the right to secede and said they may unilaterally declare independence.

Felipe placed the blame for the tension firmly in the hands of the Catalan regional authorities said they "in a repeated, conscious and deliberate manner, have been breaking the Constitution and their Autonomous Status".

The regional government said about 90 percent of the 2.3 million people who allegedly cast a vote in the referendum did so in favor of independence.

"Today Catalan society is fractured and in conflict", he said, referring to the crisis as a "very serious moment for our democratic life". Spain's interior minister said the 5,000 extra officers would stay in Catalonia as long as necessary.

Mr. Puigdemont has said that the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is returning Spain to the authoritarianism of the former dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco.

So far, the European Union, the United States and most worldwide bodies have backed Spain in its stance against Catalan independence.

The EU fears an independent Catalonia could spark other secessionist movements.

Trade unions in Catalonia called a strike and a mass demonstration for Tuesday, an action likely to test public support for the Catalan government in the aftermath of Sunday's chaos.

He made no reference to Sunday's violence in the speech, in which he said the government had a duty to "ensure constitutional order".

Protestors, many of them students, waved the Catalan independence flag Monday and held up signs demanding more democracy outside the headquarters of the Spanish police in Barcelona.

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