Catalan region wins right to claim own state
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says the Spanish region has won the right to statehood following a contentious referendum that was marred by violence.
He said the door was open to a unilateral declaration of independence after Catalan officials said voters had backed secession with a 42.3% turnout.
Spain’s government has warned it could suspend Catalan autonomy.
The constitutional court banned the vote and almost 900 people were hurt as police tried to stop it going ahead.
Officers from the national police and paramilitary Civil Guard seized ballot papers and boxes at polling stations.
More than 2.2 million people were reported to have voted, according to Catalan authorities, out of 5.3 million registered voters. Just under 90% of those who voted backed independence, they said.
A Catalan spokesman said more than 750,000 votes could not be counted because polling stations were closed and urns were confiscated.
Given the chaotic nature of the vote, the turnout and voting figures should be taken with a pinch of salt, says the BBC’s Tom Burridge in Barcelona.