Secessionists Can't Speak for All Catalans in Clash With Spain

Gerard Pique looks on during the World Cup Qualifier between Spain and Italy at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in September 2017

But Puigdemont called for an global arbiter to mediate the crisis, ideally the European Union.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that the rule of law had prevailed in Catalonia because the independence referendum in the region prohibited by the courts had been blocked.

The Catalan government announced that 90 per cent of nearly 2.3 million voters had voted in favour of independence.

The violent response of Spanish authorities to the referendum - broadcast worldwide with images of police using rubber bullets and batons on voters - has prompted discomfort internationally and fury in Catalonia.

The Catalan government says 90 percent of the roughly 2.26 million people who cast ballots voted in favor of separating from Spain.

Trade unions in Catalonia called a strike and a mass demonstration for Tuesday, an action likely to test public support for the Catalan government in the aftermath of Sunday's chaos.

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Madrid has the power to suspend the semi-autonomous status that Catalonia now enjoys under Spain's system of regional governments. The court said that by allowing the parliament to meet and declare independence would "violate the rights of the party's MPs".

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Mr Puigdemont must return to the path of law before any negotiation could take place, it said said in a statement (in Spanish).

On Wednesday, Spanish prosecutors said they were investigating Josep LluĂ­s Trapero, Catalonia's head of police, for sedition, the Financial Times reported. During Spain's June friendly against Colombia in Murcia, a city in southeast Spain, he was jeered by supporters who oppose Catalonia independence.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has said he does not want a "traumatic break".

Per the Guardian's translation, the king said the Catalan government had "eroded the harmony and co-existent within Catalan society itself, managing, unfortunately, to divide it". Puigdemont is seeking worldwide mediation following the vote, saying he wants to reach an understanding with the Spanish government, and avoid a "traumatic break".

King Felipe made his own TV address on Tuesday night, calling Sunday's Catalan referendum illegal and undemocratic.

Dr Ramon Pardo, a senior lecturer in global relations at King's College London has told Express.co.uk it is now a question of how, and not if, Catalonia will declare independence.

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