'What the law says': Catalonia will follow through with independence declaration - leader

Banco Sabadell relocates outside of Catalonia

Based on this, the courts and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government have insisted that a decision affecting the unity of Spain can not be taken by just one region, but that all Spaniards need to be consulted.

Rajoy has vowed to block any independence move and has also rejected calls for mediation in a dispute that has drawn cries of concern all over Spain, and even from Barcelona and Real Madrid footballers.

Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in central Barcelona on Sunday in opposition to any declaration of independence from Spain, waving banners that said "I am Spanish", "Catalonia is Spain", and "Together we are stronger".

Masses of Catalans gathered in Barcelona this weekend to call for dialog and protest further confrontation with Spain.

Asked if he was ready to trigger article 155, Mr Rajoy told El Pais newspaper: "I don't rule out anything that is within the law". But on Sunday, a sea of Spanish flags, interspersed with some Catalan and European Union flags, dominated Barcelona's boulevards.

More than 2.2 million people across Catalonia cast their ballots in last Sunday's referendum, which saw a 90-percent vote in favor of a split from Spain.

Other demonstrations - including in the Catalan city Barcelona - have also been held urging political dialogue. This is our flag, and Catalonia's is our flag", the man says, wrapped in the red and yellow Spanish flag. "Viva Espana!

"Spain will continue being Spain".

Tentative signs have emerged that the two sides may be seeking to defuse the country's worst crisis in a generation after Madrid offered a first apology Friday to Catalans injured by police during the vote.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is expected to address the regional parliament on Tuesday at 18:00 local time (16:00 GMT) after Spain's Constitutional Court earlier suspended the Catalan parliament session that had been planned for Monday.

"At the moment he [Puigdemont] is providing no clear timeline for a unilateral independence declaration".

"The thousands of Guardia Civil and national police officers deployed in Catalonia would remain there until things return to normal and repeated calls for the regional government to drop its independence demands", The Guardian reported.

GettyTens of thousands rallied against the region's independence bid from Spain.

The constitution establishes "the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation, a common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards" whose "national sovereignty resides in the Spanish people". "Here they are always with their doors open for dialogue, but I think this will end badly", he said.

Although the vote was declared illegal by the government in Madrid, Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont said he will press ahead with plans to formally declare independence on Tuesday.

He added: "I want to say something with absolute clarity - while the threat of independence is in the political landscape, it will be very hard for the government to not take these decisions".

"If Catalonia has the strength, and the will, and the determination to become an independent country, then we could turn our country into a Mediterranean Denmark."

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