Barcelona cardinal condemns 'deplorable' referendum violence

Rajoy says rule of law prevailed in Catalonia by blocking referendum

Speaking to reporters, he called for "mediation", "which means there must be the presence of a third party, which must be worldwide to be efficient".

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has attacked Spain's King Felipe VI for "deliberately ignoring millions of Catalans". The referendum, in which 90% reportedly voted in favor of independence for Catalonia, was ruled unconstitutional by Spanish courts.

Given the police violence that marred Sunday's poll, leaving hundreds of people injured, such a move would go down extremely badly.

In Barcelona schools, businesses and shops were also shut as part of a strike backed by the Catalan government, which will only serve to increase tension with Spain's central government in Madrid. "We trust the leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to manage this hard process in full respect of the Spanish Constitution and of the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined therein", the commission said, in a statement. He has indicated that Catalonia could declare independence next week.

The king's speech was a response to the thousands of Catalan residents that hit the streets to protest the violent crackdown inflicted over the weekend by Spanish authorities attempting to block the vote, according to the outlet.

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Puigdemont warned that if the Spanish government attempted to intervene and take control of Catalonia's government, it would be "an error which changes everything".

The EU executive called again on Wednesday for the Spanish government and Catalan authorities to open a dialogue.

Almost 900 people were hurt as police violently tried to enforce a Spanish court order suspending the vote, which the government had declared illegal.

Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee, reporting from Barcelona, said: "Many people are saying that the mandate, as they see it, of the referendum needs to be accepted and mirrored by the Catalan parliament".

Pique, who has been booed by for years for his perceived support for Catalonian independence, posted a photo on Twitter that showed him voting in the banned independence refereSpanish national team fansndum on Sunday.

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