Spain fears Catalan parliament could declare independence as early as tomorrow when the regional government's leader is due to speak to the assembly in the wake of a banned referendum of October the 1st.
Speaking to El Pais on Sunday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said: Spain is not going to be divided and the nation's unity will be maintained. It is also a tactic to pressure the separatists. Of them, 90.18 percent favored a breakaway from Spain.
But an independent Catalonia would need to establish its own central bank, inland revenue, air traffic control and defence force, all of which are now run from Madrid - as are electricity and gas transportation and distribution.
After a weekend of mass demonstrations in favor of Spanish unity, the country was braced for escalation of a crisis that threatens the breakup of a European sovereign state.
Saenz de Santamaria also called for members of the Catalan government "who still respect democracy and freedom to refrain from jumping into the void".
Sabadell announced on Thursday it was shifting its registered base - but not its staff - to the eastern city of Alicante. "Due to the legal uncertainty generated by the current political situation in Catalonia, the board unanimously made a decision to change its legal base to Madrid for as long as necessary", Abertis said.More news: Protest to Rid "Columbus Day" and replace with "Indigenous Peoples Day"
"While the Spanish authorities, as you all know, put a great deal of effort into making that vote as hard as ever, the Catalans responded in a way I'd never seen before: by making paella".
"The declaration of independence, that we don't call a "unilateral" declaration of independence, is foreseen in the referendum law as an application of the results". Financial markets seem to be reading some calm into the situation. Allowing Catalonia to separate would open the floodgates for other independence movements, potentially turning Europe into a piecemeal puzzle of borders.
Money is starting to flow out of Catalan banks as well, Ruiz noted. "But now that they have moved to Alicante I feel much safer".
The EU has remained shamefully powerless in the face of the illiberal measures deployed by right-wing governments in Poland and Hungary, towards their media and judiciary. "There will be a problem in the energy sector, there will be a problem in the telecom sector, in the financial sector of course". The head of Catalan sparkling winemaker Freixenet, Jose Luis Bonet, said on Friday that the company was considering shifting domicile. The march was peaceful and no major incidents were reported.
On Sunday, a crowd estimated by local police to number 350,000, took to the streets of the Catalan capital Barcelona, waving Spanish and Catalan flags and carrying banners saying "Catalonia is Spain" and "Together we are stronger". In the final version, he said he wanted negotiations with Madrid, and if that option is denied, "we will do what we came to do".