Spanish king slams Catalan independence movement as protests escalate

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Spanish king slams Catalan independence movement as protests escalate

Catalonia says some 2.3 million people - less than half the region's electorate - voted in the referendum.

Here's what you need to know.

So far, most European governments, the US and most global bodies have backed Spain in its stance against Catalan independence, fearing that Catalonia could unleash a wave of secessionist movements. According to the spokesman of the regional government, the numbers didn't include the ballots confiscated by Spanish police.

The triumph of "Yes" in the separatist referendum on Sunday in Catalonia, paralyzed by Justice at the request of the Spanish government, has paved the way to a probable unilateral declaration of independence in that autonomous community. More than 900 people were injured by police, the BBC reported.

The region's leaders defied Madrid by holding a banned referendum on independence on Sunday. Puigdemont's comments come after a largely symbolic referendum on independence was held in Catalonia last Sunday. Catalan officials say parliament will declare independence in the next several days.

Normally busy metro stations in Barcelona were deserted as services were cut back sharply, pickets blocked traffic on Gran Via street and traffic on six major highways in the region was disrupted by protests.

Enric Millo said on Tuesday "nothing of this would have happened if the government wouldn't have declared itself in rebellion, breaking the orders of the courts and lying and tricking people".

Strikes have been called by Catalonia's main labour unions while various Catalonian politicians are calling for an unilateral decleration of independence.

"We knew that an empty Camp Nou would send a powerful message", he said in a news conference on Monday. It's obvious that we need mediation.

Puigdemont said Catalonia did not want a "traumatic break" with Madrid.

Despite having accepted autonomy within the Spanish Republic in 1931, Catalonia has a long-established history of dissent towards Spanish rule.

For now Catalonia will remain part of Spain as the Spanish constitution does not allow for the break-up of Spain under any circumstance; so the impacts to the Euro are likely limited.

Almost 700,000 people in Catalonia have marched through the streets of Barcelona to protest police brutality during a banned independence referendum and Madrid's policies toward the already-autonomous Spanish region.

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