Barcelona: Thousands march against Catalan independence

Banco Sabadell relocates outside of Catalonia

Banco Sabadell relocates outside of Catalonia

Mr Vargas Llosa is also among 60 Spain-based intellectuals and academics who have signed an open letter asking the worldwide community not to support the idea of external mediation as a solution to the crisis in Catalonia.

The protesters rallied in central Barcelona, waving Spanish and Catalan flags and banners saying "Catalonia is Spain" and "Together we are stronger", as politicians on both sides hardened their positions in the country's worst political crisis for decades.

"I rule out absolutely nothing that is allowed for under the law", he said in an interview published in El Pais newspaper.

In a sea of red-and-yellow Spanish and Catalan flags, protesters sent a clear message, shouting: "Catalonia is Spain".

Rallies are expected in Spain against Catalonian independence, after Sunday's disputed referendum.

Other protests asking for dialogue were held in cities including Valencia, Bilbao, Pamplona and Sanitago de Compostela, news agency Europa Press reported.

Within hours CaixaBank, Spains third-biggest lender and Catalonias biggest company, said its board had chose to move its registered office to Valencia.

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To avoid a rupture, the Scottish government said that in the event of a "yes" vote, it would start pre-independence talks with the European Union "to settle the terms of an independent Scotland's continuing membership".

According to local authorities, in support of independence have voted more than 90% of voters, but the turnout was only 43%.

The Spanish government sent thousands of national police into the region to prevent the vote.

The prime minister also said he planned to keep extra police deployed to Catalonia before the referendum until the crisis was over.

Mr Puigdemont is set to address the Catalan parliament on Tuesday, and although it remains unclear what he plans to say, many secessionists are urging him to declare unilateral independence.

Investors are on the alert for market turmoil before a potential declaration of independence by Catalonia this week, as an exodus of companies from the region gathers pace.

The crisis has raised fears of unrest in the northeastern region, a tourist-friendly area of 7.5 million people that accounts for a fifth of Spain's economy.

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The rallies followed days of soaring tensions after police cracked down on voters during a banned October 1 Catalan independence referendum, prompting regional leaders to warn they would declare unilaterally declare independence in days.

But Sunday marks the second consecutive day of protests in Spain, with thousands marching on Saturday, calling for dialogue to defuse the tense situation.

"The ideal situation would be that I don't have to find drastic solutions, but for that to happen there will have to be some rectifications (by Catalan leaders)", Rajoy said.

Catalan leaders held an independence referendum one week ago in a divisive and controversial poll that Madrid slammed as illegal.

"We like how things have been up until now and want to go on like this".

Raul Briones, 40 wearing a Spanish national soccer team shirt said: "The people who have come to demonstrate don't feel Catalan so much as Spanish".

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