France says it will reject Catalan independence move
France has said it will not recognise any declaration from Catalonia to separate from Spain, as regional officials weigh up whether to make a formal proclamation of secession.
Following a controversial referendum on 1 October, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said he would unilaterally declare independence in a matter of days, but French European Affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau said that the EU would not recognise such a move.
"If independence were to be recognized -- which is not something that's being discussed -- the most immediate consequence would be that (Catalonia) automatically leaves the European Union," Loiseau said.
Pressure on the separatist movement is rising, after the departure of several more major companies from the region after financial institutions Banco Sabadell and Caixabank changed their headquarters to other parts of Spain.
Telecom firm Cellnex and infrastructure company Abertis are the latest to make the decision to shift their HQs away from Catalonia.
Catalan authorities have stated they are open to dialogue with the Madrid government, something that has been rejected by those in the capital.
Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy reiterated his call for togetherness in an interview with German newspaper Die Weit which was published on Monday.
"Spain will not be divided, and the national unity will be preserved. To this end we will employ all the means we have within the law. It is up to the government to make decisions, and to do so at the right moment," Rajoy said.
IG analyst Chris Beauchamp says a positive beginning of the week for the Spanish Ibex 35 index suggests investors are confident there will be a resolution to the crisis.
"Given the notable lack of international support, Catalonia seems to have overplayed its hand, and as businesses desert Barcelona the central government seems to hold almost all the cards. Another 1% gain for the Ibex this morning suggests investors expect a resolution to the standoff," Beauchamp said.