Catalonia crisis in 300 words

Europe:Madrid stock market jumps at open

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy took advantage Wednesday of the previous evening's fudged declaration of independence by the country's Catalan region, boosting the Euro against other currencies and lifting the prices of Spanish stocks and government bonds.

The ultimatum comes with a deadline: Catalonia has five days for the first demand, and another three days for the second, Reuters reports. However, Rajoy did not specify whether Madrid would assume direct control of Catalonia.

National police were involved in violent scenes as they tried to stop the vote taking place.

Leaders of Catalonia say the referendum results were 90 percent in favor of secession, but with a turnout of about half of registered voters - and massive street protests in favor of unity came a week after the vote.

For some of his supporters, it was close enough to count.

It is unclear how Puidgemont's play for time will be received in Madrid, which has consistently said independence is not up for discussion. "He was frustrated with what he heard last night".

"The cabinet agreed this morning to formally ask the Catalan government to confirm whether it declared Catalan independence", he said in a televised statement. "I didn't know what he was saying".

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The Spanish expect their prime minister to do more than just hide behind the shield of the constitution.

I do not want to declare independence, I want to make it happen.", CNN reports.He said he felt obliged to open a window for dialogue in response to global demands - adding that a formal offer of dialogue like the one he had made to Madrid "needs a response in days."Puigdemont insisted the government in Madrid had no reason to apply Article 155 of the constitution to Catalonia and that to do so would be a mistake.He also rejected any suggestion that he should be arrested for his actions, saying he was not a criminal".

"Puigdemont himself could face charges of rebellion", Frayer explains.

"Today I ask you [Puidgemont] to respect - in your intentions - the constitutional order and not to announce a decision that would make such a dialogue impossible".

The crisis has caused deep uncertainty for businesses in one of the wealthiest regions in the eurozone's fourth-largest economy.

European Union President Donald Tusk has made an emotive appeal to the Catalonia's pro-independence leader to step back from declaring independence, warning that it would lead to conflict with Spain and make dialogue impossible.

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