Spain warns it will act if Catalonia declares independence

Protesters congratulate Spanish policemen and decorate police vans with Spanish and Catalan flags during a demonstration called by

Catalonia: French minister calls for stronger EU to SQUASH separatist movements

The apparent threat comes amid heightened tensions between Catalonia and Spain as the wealthy region threatens to break away following an independence referendum held on October 1.

"Given the negative implications of independence for economic activity in Catalonia due to its likely exclusion from the European Union and euro area, we think the likelihood of independence is very low", a note from JP Morgan analysts read today. "We're open individuals, citizens of the world", said Maribel Villalba. "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".

Meanwhile, French European Affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau says Paris will not recognize Catalonia if it unilaterally declares independence.

A spokesman for the Catalan parliament told CNN that the session will take place at 6pm CET, and Mr Puigdemont will give members an update on the "current political situation".

However, SNP MEP Alyn Smith urged caution and said a declaration of independence from Catalonia would not help its cause at the moment, and that the Catalan and Spanish governments urgently need to open up a dialogue. The latest crisis has raised fears of unrest in Catalonia, a north-eastern region about the size of Belgium that is home to 7.5 million people and accounts for a fifth of Spain's economy.

Rajoy has said repeatedly he will not talk to the Catalan leaders unless they drop their plans to declare independence.

Caixabank, Spain's number 3 bank, and Banco Sabadell, the number 5, have both moved their head offices out of Catalonia last week following an independence referendum that the Madrid government attempted to block.

On Saturday, thousands of protesters gathered at rallies in Barcelona, Madrid and other Spanish cities to demand dialogue to end the dispute.

To circumvent that ruling the Catalan President will now address the local Parliament on his own on Tuesday.

Catalan independence would not enjoy worldwide recognition, France's minister for European affairs said Monday as the Spanish region's leader threatens to announce a split.

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".

Sandra White MSP, who was in Catalonia, criticised the inaction from the European Union following the vote. The statement says a declaration of independence, even if illegal under Spanish laws, could trigger the suspension of the judiciary and ouster of its president. "We will see what happens this week but we have to speak out very loudly so they know what we want".

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