Spain's PM says may use constitution to block Catalan independence


Video showed police using physical force against protesters and shooting rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse crowds of demonstrators.

The crisis is a political test for Mr Rajoy, who has been uncompromising.

The demonstration comes a week after the Catalan government held a referendum on secession that was condemned as illegal and unconstitutional by the Spanish government.

"The solution is political. I will listen to all the positions, but the final decision will be mine".

Spain's 10-year bond yield - which moves inversely to the price - reversed most of rise seen earlier on Friday as investors became concerned about plans by Catalonia's regional parliament to meet in defiance of a ruling by the country's main legislative court. They said it was a matter of human rights.

The warnings sent by the business sector have coincided with the first calls from within Puigdemont's government to hold off on a declaration of independence.

The vote, which was won by the Yes side, was broken up by police, who beat voters with batons.

The SNP-led Scottish government is urging talks to let Catalans decide their own future. It said it wants to remain in the eurozone and under the supervision of the European Central Bank - two things that would not happen if Catalonia did manage to secede. After official German, UK, and French sources signaled their support for Madrid following Sunday's crackdown, the European Union (EU) again formally endorsed the Spanish crackdown on Wednesday.

Even Sánchez, president of the Catalan National Assembly, told reporters he had denied the sedition allegations in front of the judge.

"Up until now what we have seen is peaceful demonstrations, strong determination but always with a strong democratic attitude. Where were those values on Sunday?"

The Catalan government on Friday said approximately 90 percent of those who voted opted for independence, although turnout was only 43 percent.

Almost 2.29 million of the 5.3 million people eligible to vote took part in the referendum, a voter turnout of around 43%. "You're not touching our Catalonia, because Catalonia is for everyone and Spain is for everyone." .

The prime minister also said he planned to keep extra police deployed to Catalonia before the referendum until the crisis was over. Indeed, declaring independence now would be the culmination of a "serialised coup d'état", says Spain's El Pais.

"Another form of populism, without doubt, is this nationalist populism that we are experiencing, which violates the fundamental principles of the European Union, goes against the rule of law, against law enforcement, and so it is a problem also from Europe".

It is one of the wealthiest regions not just of Spain but of European Union, witnessing a growth of all kinds of industries ranging from tourism and textiles to hi-tech businesses.

On Tuesday King Felipe addressed the nation in a televised speech but failed to acknowledge the violence perpetrated against Catalan voters, and said nothing of the need for mediation to resolve the crisis.

And while it has long sought independence, the most recent push came after a Spanish court overturned an agreement that gave it more autonomy in 2010 amid a global economic downturn.