Puigdemont detached from reality: Spanish deputy PM

People placed flowers outside polling stations which had been sites of violent clashes during the vote

Catalonia's president Carles Puigdemont called the central government's policies "disastrous" as the region's leaders pushed on with its bid to break away from Spain, angering Madrid and raising the risk of further unrest.

However, on Tuesday, Puigdemont told the BBC broadcaster that Catalonia might declare independence in a few days.

Neither the Spanish government nor the judiciary has threatened to arrest Puigdemont, though Madrid accuses him of breaking the law by ignoring a Constitutional Court ruling forbidding the referendum from going ahead.

The Catalan government says 2.26 million people of the registered 5.3 million cast their ballots, with almost 90 percent voted for an independent state.

The regional government of Catalonia called for a referendum on independence on Sunday that had been declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court as it breached the country's constitution.

The dispute is Spain's worst political crisis in decades and images of police beating unarmed Catalans taking part in Sunday's banned independence vote sparked global concern.

In a prime-time television speech, seemingly created to mirror King Felipe's address to the Spanish nation by scheduling it exactly 24 hours afterwards, Mr Puigdemont argued the monarch had abandoned his traditionally neutral stance in politics.

Interviews with five pro-independence politicians in Osona county, a patchwork of farming towns, reveal an uncompromising mood after Sunday's violence which, according to Catalan officials, injured around 900 people across the region. Madrid has the power to suspend the semi-autonomous status that Catalonia now enjoys under Spain's system of regional governments.

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Dialogue is a third option - which European Union officials have urged - but both sides seem to want their trains to crash head-on first and see who comes out worse.

The court said that by allowing the parliament to meet and declare independence would "violate the rights of the party's MPs".

Catalan leaders claim around 800,000 people were prevented from voting due to the Guardia Civil's tactics.

He is ready to "suspend everything" if Madrid shows a willingness to negotiate over holding a referendum - legal this time around.

"Whenever we have trusted the Spanish state, they have cheated us".

The pan-European STOXX 600 index index and Germany's DAX were both down around 0.15 percent by 0724 GMT, while Spain's IBEX was up 0.6 percent.

"What kind of democracy - particularly an European Union member state - attacks its citizens for wanting to vote?" Yes, though it would require Spanish institutions acknowledging and addressing the root causes of the years of discontent that preceded this referendum.

He called for "all-party" talks to find a solution, opening the door to a deal giving Catalonia more autonomy. Before Franco's death in 1975, the Catalan language was suppressed. Catalan authorities provide health care, run their schools and police their streets. "We have to present the results of the referendum to parliament".

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