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Lionel Messi

CATALONIA will move on Monday to declare independence from Spain, a regional government source said, as the European Union nation nears a rupture that threatens the foundations of its young democracy and has unnerved financial markets.

The country's constitutional court said such a declaration would be "a breach of the constitution".

"The king endorses the discourse and policies of the government of [prime minister Mariano] Rajoy, which have been catastrophic for Catalonia and deliberately ignore the millions of Catalans who do not think like them", he said.

Opposition parties have announced plans to appeal to the Constitutional Court to halt Monday's plenary session in the regional legislative.

The speaker of the Catalan parliament Carme Forcadell warned such a move "would just increase support for the pro-independence side".

Although 90 percent of the 2.26 million Catalans voted for independence, voter turnout was low at 42 percent, with many anti-independence voters abstaining.

The conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has given no response to the mediation offer, but has made clear that it considers a dispute that threatens the country's Constitution a matter for Spaniards, not worldwide arbitration. In a rare and strongly worded television address on Tuesday, the king described the regional government's actions as "an unacceptable attempt" to take over Catalan institutions and said it had placed itself outside democracy and the law.

The leader, however, did not give any further details of a possible declaration of independence.

"With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic", Puigdemont said on Sunday. For example, some of Mr Rajoy's clearest backing has come from French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country has faced low-level breakaway sentiment from Corsica and the Basque Country, which straddles both south-west France and north-west Spain. The vote on Sunday saw shocking scenes of police with batons beating unarmed voters. This comes after hundreds of Spanish police were evicted from hotels after their crackdown.

Spain's fifth-biggest bank Sabadell was set to discuss Thursday whether to shift its legal domicile away from Catalonia in response to the crisis, a spokesman said.

The court stated that such a move would be "a breach of the constitution", BBC reported Thursday.

Opinion polls conducted before the vote suggested a minority of around 40% of residents in Catalonia backed independence.

The wealthy northeastern region is home to Barcelona and boasts a distinct culture and language.

He said: "This moment calls for mediation".

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