Eurozone panicked by prospect of Catalonia independence

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Catalonia's capital Barcelona yesterday to express their opposition to declaring independence

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Catalonia's capital Barcelona yesterday to express their opposition to declaring independence

Catalonia's secessionist leader on Monday faced increased pressure to abandon plans to declare the region independent from Spain, with France and Germany expressing support for the country's unity.

"We have said yes to so many mediation options that have been proposed", he said.

And it calls upon the Spanish government to "respect the overwhelming "si" vote won in the Catalan referendum as an expression of the democratic will of the people of Catalonia" and urges the UN, EU and Council of Europe to mediate.

Although it is not know what Puigdemont might say, any declaration of independence from the region would likely lead to more violence. Pro-independence protests were attracting large numbers and he benefited politically from a violent crackdown by Spanish police during the referendum voting. About 900 people were injured when officers fired rubber bullets and charged crowds with truncheons in scenes that shocked Spain and the world, and dramatically escalated the dispute.

Saturday saw water management company SGAB announce the relocation of its legal headquarters to Madrid, Friday saw Gas Natural Fenosa announce the same decision adding that this could be a temporary measure due to the political situation of uncertainty Catalonia is going through.

The threat of being cut off from Spain is prompting companies in Catalonia to move their head offices to other parts of the country.

Concern is growing in European Union capitals about the impact of the crisis on the Spanish economy, the fourth largest in the euro zone, and on possible spillovers to other economies.

"If it [independence] happens, I'll immediately branch out to the Catalan clubs in the League", Tebas said in an interview with Spanish broadcaster Gol TV.

Rajoy said that includes the application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which would allow the central government to take control of the governance of a region "if the regional government does not comply with the obligations of the Constitution". "The ideal situation would be to not have to take drastic solutions, but for that to happen there would have to be rectifications".

Political tensions are already high, but the regional government in Catalonia is also facing financial as well as political hurdles.

Organizers say the slogan for Sunday's rally is "Enough, let's recover good sense". "We will prevent this independence from taking place". Millions of people have voted, who want to decide.

"All modern or backward peoples experience at one time or another a moment when reason is swept away by a nationalist passion", he said, "which can be destructive and ferocious when fanaticism and racism move it". He told reporters it showed many Catalans "don't want the coup d'état the Catalan government is fostering".

Sunday's anti-independence demonstration, which included Catalans and people from other parts of Spain, underlined how the dispute has riven the region itself.

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