Spain's King Stands By Constitution, Calls Referendum Attempt to Break Unity


Catalan authorities said that about 90 percent of the 2.26 million people who participated in an independence referendum on October 1 voted in favor of a split from Spain.

"The violence characterising Sunday's Catalan referendum overshadows the actual outcome of the vote and may actually strengthen the Catalan quest for independence".

The leader of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, told a news conference Monday that global mediation is needed to resolve the dispute.

Scenes of armored Spanish police swinging truncheons and firing rubber bullets at peaceful voters have been widely condemned, with the European Union calling for talks to break the stalemate between Madrid and Barcelona.

But amid an unexpectedly harsh response from Spanish police to the vote, which was declared illegal by Spain's top court, turnout was under 50%.

Under referendum legislation passed by the Catalan parliament, the regional government has 48 hours after finalizing voting results to declare independence from Spain.

Mr. Puigdemont has said that the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is returning Spain to the authoritarianism of the former dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco. Over 800 people were injured in a crackdown by Spanish police before, during and after the polls.

Voters in Catalonia, a region with its own distinct language and culture, approved an independence referendum on Sunday.

Mr Puigdemont has called on the global community to help mediate between the two sides.

The Spanish league has already said it will not be easy to make a deal to have the club stay in the league if a unilateral declaration of independence is made by Catalonia.

Appealing for global mediation to help solve the crisis, he told the corporation that he disagreed with the European Commission's statement that it was internal matter for Spain.

Demonstrators rally in Perpignan, Spain, against police violence during the independence vote.

In Barcelona's Catalonia and University squares, a sea of demonstrators waved flags, a lot of them "esteladas", embraced by those seeking secession, but there were also plenty of Spanish national flags. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Euronews that the EU will only recognise an independent Catalonia with Spain's blessing.