Spain called the referendum illegal and police in riot gear moved in on the day of the vote to try to forcibly shut it down, firing rubber bullets at unarmed protesters. "I believe we know what Spaniards think, and they should know that the government too is clear about what it has to do". This "legal position" establishes the principle according to which a State born out of secession within the EU would not automatically be considered as part of the Union.
"They say the point is to have an independent country because it will be better", Gonzalez told NPR.
Ramon Tremosa, an European Union lawmaker from PDeCAT, told Onda Vasca radio on Monday that Puigdemont could follow the example of Slovenia, which declared independence in 1991 following an unauthorized referendum, but waited months before enacting it.
But some people went further, chanting Don't be fooled, Catalonia is Spain and calling for Catalan president Carles Puigdemont to be jailed.
It has insisted that more than 90% of those who took to the polls in the ballot had voted for independence.
Catalonia, a northeastern region about the size of Belgium, is home to 7.5 million people and accounts for a fifth of Spain's economy.
Still, Rajoy was being as explicit as possible in warning that the national government in Madrid would not stand for such a declaration. City police said 700,000 people joined a pro-independence protest in Barcelona two days after the vote.
Rajoy says he would only hold talks with Puigdemont's side if the Catalan separatists abandoned their independence bid in line with the Spanish constitution.More news: McDonald's admits epic fail after fans couldn't get Szechuan Sauce
"They have family ties, they go there on weekends", said Jean-Luc Pujol, co-founder of the political party Yes To A Catalan Country, which pushes for greater autonomy in the French region.
Thomas says that the "powerful" show of support for unity means that a declaration of independence may not be well received.
On Friday the Madrid government passed an emergency declaration that allows companies to move their headquarters without a formal vote of shareholders.
Douglas Chapman MP, who presented the Catalan motion to the conference on Monday afternoon, told BuzzFeed News: "The decision is for the people of Catalonia [but I] would support their right to self determination and independence if that's what they choose to do".
Without a declaration of independence, Puigdemont risks seeing "the momentum behind Catalan independence fizzle out anticlimactically as he ignores his own referendum", the TS Lombard analysts wrote.
"Some of the uncertainty has been reduced - the tone from Puigdemont has become more conciliatory and (Spain's Prime Minister Mariano) Rajoy has also stepped back", said Peter Chatwell, head of euro rates strategy at Mizuho.
"I didn't feel that repressed until what happened on October 1", said 25-year-old student Mireya Jimenez.