Spain to Take Action to 'Restore Law' if Catalonia Secedes - Deputy PM

Protesters perform Nazi salutes during rallies over Catalan independence

There is no certain confirmation of this move, however, with Catalan lawmakers unofficially saying that they will stop short of the independence declaration, opting for more of a "symbolic statement". A mere "rhetorical" independence declaration would amount to surrender, CUP regional parliamentarian Mireia Boya warned on Twitter. He says he will address the regional parliament on Tuesday " to report on the current political situation".

Ines Arrimadas, the leader of the anti-independence Catalan opposition, had earlier tweeted that demonstrators should refrain from waving fascists flags "in front of the press", but later deleted the tweet.

Mr Rajoy told Catalan leaders that there is still time to backtrack and avoid Madrid taking over the region's government.

Speaking to Catalonia's TV3 television station, Puigdemont said: "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".

On Sunday, a poll published by the conservative La Razon daily said 79.4 per cent of Spaniards, and 58.9 per cent of Catalans, were against the unilateral declaration of independence Catalan authorities are said to be considering.

Two more Catalonia-based companies set board meetings for Monday to decide whether to shift their head offices out of the region.

"This situation can not be solved by violence, we have to find a solution through dialogue, this is also true when you consider the economic oint of view", he said. No one seems eager to recognize Catalonia, including the European Union.

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Though 90% of voters backed independence at the outlawed referendum, fewer than half of the region's electorate voted. The building was later guarded by local police.

While Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy did not attend but expressed his support in a tweet, a number of heavyweights from the ruling Partido Popular, including the president of the Madrid region, Cristina Cifuentes, took part.

Catalonian leaders, now faced with tough decisions on how to proceed, are calling for dialogue with Spain's national government. "We will do everything that legislation allows us to ensure this".

Some executives aren't waiting to see what happens next, and have protectively moved their headquarters out of Catalonia.

The prime minister's interview comes a week after separatist leaders of the Catalan government held a referendum on secession that Spain's top court had suspended and the Spanish government said was illegal. After declaring independence for the region in 1934, Companys was sentenced to 30 years in prison for rebellion.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria made what she called "an appeal to sensible people inside the Catalan government not to fling itself into the abyss".

The demonstrations were in response to last Sunday's disputed referendum on Catalan independence.

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