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What next as Catalan crisis escalates?

Catalonia is not Europe

Catalonia's regional president, Carles Puigdemont, is addressing regional lawmakers on Monday to review a referendum won by supporters of independence from Spain on October 1.

Pro-independence parties who control the regional government staged the referendum in defiance of a Constitutional Court ruling that the vote violated Spain's 1978 constitution, which states the country is indivisible.

Catalonia's president, Carles Puigdemont has accused Spain's King Felipe of being a government mouthpiece and "deliberately ignoring millions of Catalans".

Bloomberg's Maria Tadeo reports on Spain's suspension of a Catalan parliamentary session.

The session comes after a disputed referendum on Sunday which was declared illegal by Spain's Constitutional Court and which was marred by violence after Spanish police allegedly used batons and rubber bullets against crowds.

"The regional government of Catalonia has chosen to ignore the law in organising the referendum of last Sunday", the Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said.

The Catalan government said 90 percent of the more than 2.2 million people who managed to cast their ballot voted for independence - but over half of eligible voters did not turn out.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg's Esteban Duarte is reporting that "Catalan separatists are trying to find a way to put off a definitive declaration of independence to create space for a negotiated settlement with Spain, according to two people familiar with their plans".

The government of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy - who called the vote a "mockery" and whose position has been supported by the Spanish king as well as other European Union leaders - has so far expressed little desire to involve a third-party negotiator.

The court order came as political uncertainty over Catalonia's secession bid started spreading to the economy, with stock markets falling and big Catalan firms relocating or considering a move to elsewhere in Spain. "All of Spain is starting to feel the Puigdemont effect", said Esteban Gonzalez Pons, a European Parliament deputy and senior figure in Spain's governing Popular Party.

The Spanish Constitutional Court banned the Catalan parliament from meeting next week to stop the region from declaring independence.

Puigdemont told the BBC on Tuesday that Catalonia would not abandon its quest for independence and warned the Spanish government that any move to stop the independence process by using article 155 of the constitution to take control of the region could be the "ultimate mistake".

The Spanish state can also cut funding and put pressure on civil servants whom it now pays directly, having already tightened control over Catalonia's finances.

In his intervention, late on Tuesday, King Felipe branded Sunday's referendum in the north-eastern Spanish region illegal and undemocratic.

During the vote, clashes broke out between police and activists, injured hundreds of people.

On Wednesday, in a televised address, Puigdemont renewed his call for worldwide mediation but said the results of the referendum would have to be applied.