'Silent' Catalans rally against parting

'Silent' Catalans rally against parting

"Tensions and uncertainty related to Catalonia could weigh on confidence and investment decisions", said Andrea Schaechter, head of the International Monetary Fund mission for Spain.

Sunday's rally comes a week after Puigdemont and other separatist leaders of the Catalan government held a referendum on secession that Spain's top court had suspended and the Spanish government said was illegal.

After weeks of massive public demonstrations across Catalonia with the slogan "Catalonia is not Spain", a major rally was held Sunday in Barcelonia, in which anti-secessionists declared that after all this, Catalonia actually is Spain.

She said she felt no reason to have to decide whether she was Catalan or Spanish.

Tentative signs emerged on Friday that the two sides may be seeking to defuse the crisis after Madrid offered a first apology to Catalans injured by police during the vote.

Mr Puigdemont is scheduled to address the regional parliament on Tuesday evening. In the days after the October 1 referendum, the momentum appeared to be on his side.

In the previous two weeks, police had confiscated millions of ballots in raids, taken out the computing systems for the vote, and arrested around a dozen Catalan government officials suspected to have been involved in the planning for the referendum.

But now the tide seems to be turning.

About ten companies have made a decision to relocate their legal headquarters from Catalonia to other places in Spain over fears of an unilateral declaration of independence, local media reported on Saturday.

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The regional government says about 90 percent of the 2.3 million people who cast a vote in the referendum did so in favor of independence.

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais published on Sunday, Mr Rajoy said, "Spain is not going to be divided and the nation's unity will be maintained".

Rajoy says he will consider employing any measure "allowed by the law" to stop the region's separatists.

Rajoy has said repeatedly he will not talk to the Catalan leaders unless they drop their plans to declare independence. In Madrid and many cities of Spain, including city of Barcelona, Spaniards marched for Union by calling ' dialogue ' with white clos y wore.

"I hope that nothing will happen". The disobedience cost Mas his presidency in March, 2017 but incumbent Puigdemont announced on 9 June 2017 to hold independence referendum on 1 October. "I want Spain to become a federal state", Angel, a 50-year-old teacher and supporter of the leftist Podemos party, told dpa. [Until] today I had the impression that [people] who were against independence couldn't speak.

Mario Vargas Llosa, a victor of the Nobel Prize for Literature who lived in Barcelona as a young writer, blamed "the ravages of nationalism" for the current impasse.

In a separate rally in Madrid's Colon Square, thousands clamored for the unity of Spain and against any attempt by the northeastern region to break away.

Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital, is Spain's wealthiest region and has its own language and distinct culture. Separatists claim that the right to self-determination must be a good thing as no country, including the United States, had regretted it later. The last regional election and polls show that the 7.5 million residents of Catalonia are nearly evenly divided on the issue.

The separatist push has brought about one of Spain's worst constitutional crises since the end of the Francisco Franco dictatorship almost 43 years ago.

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