Pressure mounts on Mr Puigdemont as major companies pull out from Catalonia
Oct 10, Barcelona: Spain's Socialist opposition party, Pedro Sanchez - who is also opposed to independence - weighed into the row, told reporters in Barcelona that he would back action from the Madrid government "in the face of any attempt to break social harmony" if independence was declared unilaterally.
The Spanish government has threatened to suspend the autonomy of the north-eastern region, if efforts to declare independence continues. Economic pressure is also increasing on Catalan separatist leaders with more major companies moving head offices away from the region.
Infrastructure firm Abertis, property group Inmobiliaria Colonial and telecoms company Cellnex all announced plans to relocate to Madrid. Mr Puigdemont has said on several occasions that he will declare independence, despite fierce opposition across Spain and criticism from European governments. So, he is under pressure to act, the Spanish government has made stark warnings, that if the order comes, thousands of Spanish national police, in Barcelona, could intervene.
Major lenders Caixabank and Sabadell have already announced they are moving offices out of the region.
Catalonia is one of Spain's wealthiest regions, accounting for a quarter of the country's exports, but it could start suffering as major companies start pulling out amidst the crisis.
The Oslo Times International News Network