Protesters perform Nazi salutes during rallies over Catalan independence

In the case of independence, Catalonia would be excluded from the european Union

The country had tried to stop the illegal referendum on independence held in Catalonia a week ago and the issue is now causing problems for the region's economic climate.

The slogan for the demonstration - organised by the Societat Civil Catalana, the main anti-independence group in Catalonia - was: "Enough, let's recover good sense!" This "legal position" establishes the principle according to which a State born out of secession within the EU would not automatically be considered as part of the Union.

Colau said Spain was amid its "worst institutional crisis since democracy began" and said Spain's political representatives should "find a solution that is inclusive and up to standards we have been living".

Instead of immediately declaring independence after an outlawed referendum on October 1, Puigdemont has played for time by saying he is open to negotiations or mediation.

"If there were to be a declaration of independence, it would be unilateral and it would not be recognized", French European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau told French broadcaster CNews on Monday.

- Urges the Catalan President to return to the dialogue table.

Turnout was 43 per cent as Catalans who reject independence largely boycotted the poll.

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And Pablo Casado, a spokesman for the Popular Party, warned that if history repeats itself, then Puigdemont could "end up" like the region's former leader, Lluis Companys, media reports said.

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".

Earlier, thousands of people rallied across the country for Spanish unity. Residents, some 7.5 million people, have also been able to maintain their national language: Catalan.

The premier noted that 4,000 additional police were deployed in Catalonia in the run-up to the referendum, adding they would stay until the crisis was over.

While Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy did not attend but expressed his support in a tweet, a number of heavyweights from the ruling Partido Popular, including the president of the Madrid region, Cristina Cifuentes, took part.

As NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from Barcelona, Catalonia's capital, the people in the region are almost evenly divided over the issue of independence even though many who are in favor of staying with Spain may not have voted in the referendum.

Without a declaration of independence, Puigdemont risks seeing "the momentum behind Catalan independence fizzle out anticlimactically as he ignores his own referendum", the TS Lombard analysts wrote.

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