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Catalonia's leader has vowed to declare independence within days, claiming a mandate from Sunday's referendum which was declared illegal by Madrid and the Spanish courts.

Mr. Puigdemont has said that the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is returning Spain to the authoritarianism of the former dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco. Some taped up their mouths to symbolise being silenced.

Catalan is Spain's richest region and has its own language, police force and parliament. Spain's conservative government has said it will respond with "all necessary measures" to counter Catalan defiance, and is holding talks with opposition leaders to forge a consensus over what to do in response.

Pro independence supporters hold up "esteleda" or Catalan pro independence flags, in support of the Catalonia's secession referendum, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.

Catalan officials said 90 per cent of the 2.26 million people who took part in the vote backed independence.

"I am not the only one who has this, lots of other people picked them up", the 22-year-old engineering student said as he held the rubber bullet. Officials said that more than 890 civilians and some 430 members of the police force were injured.

Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont declared the region had won the right to independence in the vote. "We encourage everyone, particularly Christian laity, to be responsible and committed in public life, to move forth on the path of dialogue and understanding".

Meanwhile, Spain's justice minister warned that any declaration of independence could lead to article 155 of the country's constitution being invoked, which allows the national government to intervene in the running of an autonomous region.

He disagreed with the European Commission's statement on Monday that events in Catalonia were an internal issue for Spain.

Puigdemont announced a commission to investigate Sunday's violence and legal action against national police.

SGR, which is sister company of Sphere Consulting, began work in August for the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the United States under a three-month contract worth $60K.


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