Will take drastic steps on Catalonia: Spanish PM

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We feel both Catalan and Spanish.

"This is what we wanted with the referendum, to know if we were the majority or not". "So we have to raise our voices and say loud and clear that we do not want independence".

The Spanish government stepped up economic pressure on the Catalan government on Friday by passing a law to make it easier for companies to move their operations around the country, potentially dealing a blow to the regions finances.

In the wake of the referendum, Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont pledged to present the results to the local parliament, despite the Spanish Constitutional Court ruling the referendum illegal. Some 900 people were injured during the vote when police tried to disrupt voting, firing rubber bullets and charging crowds with truncheons.

"The only way to solve this, in my view, is to come together and negotiate a deal (maybe a kind of "Swiss model of confederation and subsidiarity") in which Madrid assigns Catalonia widespread freedoms and rights whereas Catalonia ends its attempts to secede from the Spanish State", Hoegger concluded.

Concern is growing in European Union capitals about the impact of the crisis on the Spanish economy, the fourth largest in the euro zone, and on possible spillovers to other economies.

Some of Catalonia's biggest businesses began taking steps to transfer their registered headquarters to other cities in Spain.

The slogan for the Barcelona protest, which was organised by the Societat Civil Catalana, the main anti-independence group in Catalonia, was "Enough, let's recover good sense!"

The constitution establishes "the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation, a common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards" whose "national sovereignty resides in the Spanish people".

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"We want Barcelona to once again be the capital of Spanish culture".

Tens of thousands of people gathered across Spain yesterday as Catalonia prepared to declare independence from the rest of the country, many dressed in white and calling for talks to defuse Spain's worst political crisis for decades.

The show of force by pro-union groups comes a week after the Catalan government went ahead and held a referendum on secession that Spain's top court had suspended and the Spanish government said was illegal.

Asked by El Pais reporters on Saturday whether he would be willing to use article 155, Rajoy said: 'I don't rule out absolutely anything that is within the law ...

"The ideal scenario would be that there were no need for drastic solutions, but for that there would need to be rectifications".

He also said he planned to keep extra police, deployed to Catalonia before the referendum, in the region until the crisis is over.

Spain's red-and-yellow flag has always been taboo here in Catalonia and throughout the country because it has been linked to groups supportive of Gen. Francisco Franco's dictatorship.

Catalonia's regional president Carles Puigdemont has vowed to make good on the results of last Sunday's disputed referendum on secession won by the Yes side.

She added: "You can't simply say in a democracy there is no legal or legitimate way for people to decide their own future, that would be an absurd position".

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