Catalonia’s President has claimed the autonomous region will declare independence from Spain “at the end of this week or the beginning of next”.
Carles Puigdemont told The BBC that it would be "an error which changes everything", if the Spanish government were to take control of the region’s administration, although he admitted that there had been no contact with Madrid. The central government has described the referendum as illegal.
Appealing for international 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.
Speaking shortly before a blistering attack on Catalonia’s politicians by Spain's King Felipe, Mr Puigdemont said his government would "act at the end of this week or the beginning of next".
In a rare nationwide address King Felipe launched a blistering attack Catalonia’s pro-independence regional government, accusing the secessionists of “breaking democratic principles” and trying to split up Spain.
“Thanks to their irresponsible behaviour, those [Catalan] authorities have put the social identity of Catalonia and all Spain at risk,” he said.
“They have shown contempt for the affection and feelings of solidarity which have united and will unite all Spaniards."
making no mention of the hundreds of injured as a result of police actions during the banned referendum in Catalonia - which, with an overwhelming vote in favour of independence, has brought Spain’s worst constitutional crisis in decades to a head - King Felipe accused the Catalan independence campaigners of failing to respect the Spanish constitution “repeatedly, deliberately and consciously”.
He then underlined “the crown’s unswerving commitment to the Spanish constitution and to the unity of Spain.”
But he stressed that Spain "will overcome difficult times".
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