Spain's Socialist party agrees with gov't to ask Catalonia to clarify

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy

Spain Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was due to hold an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday to discuss the government's next steps.

The motion comes in the wake of the controversial referendum, which was branded "illegal" by the government in Madrid.

Shocking footage emerges of police charging crowds at some stations, using batons and rubber bullets and roughing up voters - some of whom were elderly.

Addressing the Catalan Parliament in Barcelona, Puigdemont said the autonomous region had won the right to be independent as a result of the vote.

When asked for a statement regarding Rajoy's statement, Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turull said that should Madrid invoke Article 155, the Catalan government would press on with its independence. "The rule of law remains in force with all its strength".

While Catalan authorities say just under 90% of voters backed independence, turnout was only 43%.

Puigdemont demands the withdrawal of national police from Catalonia and calls for global mediation. Lauren Frayer reports from Barcelona. Up to 700,000 people demonstrate in the Catalan capital.

Financial markets, however, were encouraged that an immediate declaration of independence had been avoided.

Puigdemont says his government is preparing to proclaim independence, perhaps at "the end of the week".

Spain's Constitutional Court orders the suspension of the planned Catalan parliament session.

Madrid's Catalan representative apologises for the first time for the police violence during the vote. The ball is in Madrid's court.

Tens of thousands of people, some dressed in white, demonstrate in several Spanish cities, as well as the Basque Country, demanding dialogue to resolve the crisis.

There had been speculation that the Catalan President might declare independence and put the move into effect, plunging Spain into an even deeper political crisis, BBC reported.

On the same day that Catalonia's president called for negotiations with Spain to secure independence for his state, the White House signaled it favored talks between Catalonia and the Madrid government and "them moving forward".

On Wednesday, Spain has officially announced their response regarding Catalonia's declaration of independence on Tuesday. If Puigdemont was to confirm he did declare independence, he would be given an additional three days to rectify it, until Thursday, Oct 19 at 0800 GMT.

The Spanish PM said he wanted "remove the general confusion" as he urged the Catalan government to say whether it had declared independence or not.



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