Catalonia's 'silent majority' stage huge backlash against independence

Catalan independence supporters gather in Barcelona's main square on Oct. 1

If Catalan authorities decide to declare independence from Spain following the results of the referendum, they will hardly be able to enjoy their status as the tensions with Madrid over violation of the Spanish constitution will rise and there will be no support internationally since other states would not sacrifice their relations with Spain for Catalonia's sake, experts told Sputnik.

Rajoy has vowed to block any independence move and has also rejected calls for mediation in a dispute that has drawn cries of concern all over Spain, and even from Barcelona and Real Madrid footballers.

Sporting white shirts, protesters packed Barcelona's Sant Jaume Square where the Catalan government has its presidential palace, shouting "We want to talk!" and holding signs saying "More Negotiation, Less Testosterone!" and "Talk or Resign!" But on Sunday, a sea of Spanish flags, interspersed with some Catalan and European Union flags, dominated Barcelona's boulevards.

Other demonstrations - including in the Catalan city Barcelona - have also been held urging political dialogue.

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

The support given in public statements by European Union leaders to Rajoy is combined with concern expressed in private about how the Spanish government's use of police to prevent Catalans from voting last week in the independence referendum could backfire.

"Spain will be Spain and will continue to be it for a long time", the prime minister added.

Recent polls had indicated that Catalans are split on independence, though leaders said the violence during the referendum turned many against the state authorities.

As reported, on October 1, Catalonia held a referendum on independence.

Once Catalonia declares independence, a so-called "Law on Transition" would come into effect establishing the region as a "democratic and social" republic, and opening a period for it to set up its own laws and institutions.

Asked whether he was prepared to invoke Article 155 of Spain's constitution, which allows the national parliament to intervene in the running of an autonomous region, Mr Rajoy said: "I don't rule out absolutely anything that is within the law".

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who took office in 2011, posed the referendum in defiance of Spanish law at the risk of losing autonomy.

Image: Organisers claimed a million people joined the march.

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has said he will push ahead for independence after the "Yes" side won a disputed referendum on secession that Spain's top court had suspended.

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

Earlier, thousands of people rallied across the country for Spanish unity.

Catalonia's independence would need to be recognised internationally and so far no country has said it would back a new Catalan Republic.

"People of peace that are here, we don't want war, we don't want conflict with Catalonia".