Last Sunday, Catalonia held their controversial independence referendum, which was banned by the Spanish government. It ended up being marred by chaos and violence from Spanish police. While over 90 percent of those who voted supported independence, the turnout was only 43 percent because those who favored being a part of Spain mostly boycotted the ballot. This information was confirmed in a report by Reuters.

Catalonia's leader to declare independence

President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, said that he had favored mediation in order to try to end the crisis.

However, this has been rejected by Spain's government. Catalan lawmaker Mireia Boya said that a declaration of independence would follow a parliamentary session on Monday after going over the results of the referendum.

Puigdemont informed the BBC that he would request Catalonia's parliament to declare independence following the referendum. In a televised address last night he ominously said: “Today we are closer than yesterday to our historical wish.”

Spain's response to the situation

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said that Catalonia must first “return to the path of law” before any negotiations can begin. Both the country's central government and the constitutional court have declared that the referendum is illegal.

On Tuesday, King Felipe VI chastised the “irresponsible behavior” of the leaders of Catalonia.

A government source told Reuters that Rajoy has said that Puigdemont had to end the idea of unilaterally declaring independence. Ruling party lawmakers say that Rajoy is also thinking about taking the unparalleled step of dissolving the Catalonia parliament and triggering regional elections.

However, he is having a hard time getting enough support to do so, which could further compound the country's political crisis.

How the European Union has reacted

Spain is the euro zone's fourth-largest economy and this continuing constitutional crisis has rattled the euro and hit the country's stocks. The deputy head of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, spoke to the European Parliament about the issue yesterday.

He said in regards to all involved that “Its time to talk” and open up a dialogue to resolve the issue.

However, the European Union (EU) has also deemed that the results of Catalonia's referendum are unconstitutional and they refuse to acknowledge the result. According to, a spokesman for the European People's Party, the largest party in the European Parliament, issued a warning. He said of Catalonia that, “If you contest the law to abandon Spain you also need to know that you abandon the EU.”