Catalonia's secessionist leader came under intense pressure on Monday to abandon plans to declare independence from Spain after hundreds of thousands of unionists took to the streets at the weekend to protest against the region breaking away.
Catalan authorities say the "Yes" side won the referendum with 90 percent of the vote, although only 43 percent of the region's 5.3 million eligible voters turned out in polling that was marred by police raids of polling stations.
"The first effect would be its exit from the European Union".
With Catalonia, which is now part of a country of the European Union, "while it would be less hard (...) because there would already be a regulatory convergence", observes a diplomat in Brussels.
Thousands of people marched for Spanish unity in Barcelona, Spain, on October 8, El País reported.
It was the largest such rally in Catalonia amid the furore over last week's disputed independence referendum.
The Catalan government had previously said it would declare independence within 48 hours of a yes vote in the referendum.
There is widespread opposition to a Catalan breakaway among people in the rest of the country.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned anew Monday that Spain will not be divided by a declaration of independence from Catalonia and said the government is ready to respond to any such attempt.
Still, Rajoy was being as explicit as possible in warning that the national government in Madrid would not stand for such a declaration.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is expected to address the regional parliament on Tuesday.
The stakes are high for Spain as it faces its biggest political crisis since it became a democracy four decades ago.
There is speculation that the parliament will declare independence unilaterally at its next sitting.
"The declaration of independence, that we don't call a "unilateral" declaration of independence, is foreseen in the referendum law as an application of the results". Separatist politicians say there will be a declaration of independence for the northeastern region of 7.5 million during that session, although some ruling coalition lawmakers say the move could be simply "symbolic".
"What is happening in Catalonia is real, whether they like it or not".
Earlier, thousands of people rallied across the country for Spanish unity. "We like how things have been up until now and want to go on like this".
"I think that whatever they do, they have made us angry, and I think we have seen that a. part of Spain doesn't like us - the King doesn't like us either and so I think that, also because of how they've treated us just now, there is no turning back".
"The ideal situation would be that I don't have to find drastic solutions, but for that to happen there will have to be some rectifications [by Catalan leaders]", Rajoy said.