Spain apologises to Catalonia and regrets Police actions during independence referendum

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The Mossos d'Esquadra forces, led by Major Josep Lluis Trapero, are facing accusations of not protecting members of the Spanish Civil Guard during a raid on the Catalan Finance Ministry prior to the referendum, reports Efe news. It's possible many "no" voters took their cue from the Spanish government and boycotted the polls, or were intimidated into staying home by the tens of thousands of demonstrators who flooded the streets of Barcelona and other cities on Sunday. In clashes, about 12 people were injured in police 844, three were arrested.

After a referendum over independence was held last Sunday, several companies chose to move their headquarters away from this Spanish northeastern region, Xinhua news agency reported.

If Catalonia were to declare independence "it would be like cutting off an arm", he added, saying there was a lot of concern about the government's perceived lack of action to resolve the crisis. In addition, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has requested to speak in front of the Parliament on Tuesday to give an update on the political situation.

Addressing the European Parliament, European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans noted that "under the Spanish Constitution, Sunday's vote in Catalonia was not legal". They say 90% voted for independence, but have not published final results.

Puigdemont postponed an appearance in the regional parliament at which some leaders were hoping for a declaration of independence, a spokesman said.

Three of the four under investigation for sedition arrived to the National Court in Madrid for questioning.

Oettinger and the EU Commission, the European bloc's governing body, which fears Catalan independence might stir up separatism elsewhere in Europe, also have urged the authorities in Madrid and Barcelona to start negotiations and to avoid further provocations. It is not yet clear what they told the judge.

Ruben Vidal, a 41-year-old DJ, said: "You can't expect Catalonia to remain in Spain just based on fear".

Fundacion La Caixa and Criteria also announced they move away from Catalonia to Palma de Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands.

Another sign of tensions was the decision of Banco Sabadell, one of Catalonia's largest banks, to move its registration outside the Catalonia region to the eastern city of Alicante, the bank said in a statement. Catalonia accounts for about 19% of Spanish GDP, while Scotland comprises a mere 8% of the UK's.

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