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But some people went further, chanting Don't be fooled, Catalonia is Spain and calling for Catalan president Carles Puigdemont to be jailed.

Catalonia's leader has announced a statement for 9:00 PM CET, which fueled speculation that Catalonia will unilaterally declare independence. If Catalonia does declare independence, they will no longer be a part of the European Union. To this end we will employ all the means we have within the law.

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais published Sunday, Rajoy said "Spain is not going to be divided and the nation's unity will be maintained". "We are the freest people in Europe".

Mr Casado was later careful to point out that his comparisons with Mr Companys had referred to the Catalan's 1934 trial and incarceration after the independence bid, not to his subsequent capture, torture and execution by General Franco's police in 1940.

He said that also includes bringing Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution into effect, which allows the central government to take control of the governance of a region "if the regional government does not comply with the obligations of the Constitution". Tentative signs emerged 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.

Catalonia accounts for almost a fifth of Spain's economy, and leads all regions in producing 25% of the country's exports, CNNMoney reports.

The global community is also speaking up on the eve of what could be Spain's most dire crisis in recent history. The march was peaceful and no major incidents were reported. Meanwhile, the Spanish government is threatening severe countermeasures, including suspending the region's home-rule powers.

A split raises dozens of questions with no answers yet.

Some 90% of Catalans who voted in a disputed referendum on Oct.1 backed independence.

Children As Young As One Burnt Alive By Day Care Security Guard
The guard had worked for at least eight years at the nursery school where he was not directly in contact with the children. Military police said, the man also set himself alight at the building in the remote town of Janauba, Minas Gerais state.

But the result was not as decisive as it appeared - turnout was only 43%.

Head of euro rates strategy Peter Chatwell told Reuters: "It is expected that Puigdemont will on Tuesday say an independence bid in the future will be considered, which is a dramatic step back from expectations last week that a deceleration of independence is imminent".

The address could be the moment when Catalonia's leader declares that the region will break away. "I think the way they've conducted themselves, the Catalonian people, the work they put in, if independent is declared, yes we should recognise it and support it as well".

Rajoy assured Catalan leaders that there "is still time" to backtrack and avoid triggering a tough response from the central government in Madrid.

He also said that the Catalan movement aimed at obtaining more autonomy for the region should be peaceful and be conducted "within the framework of treaties". Madrid has expressed concerns that the regional parliament may vote for a unilateral independence from Spain.

Sandra White MSP, who was in Catalonia, criticised the inaction from the European Union following the vote.

Catalonia's secessionist leader on Monday faced increased pressure to abandon plans to declare the region independent from Spain, with France and Germany expressing support for the country's unity.

Images of police firing rubber bullets, restraining elderly people and pulling voters from polling booths by the hair have shocked people around the world.