aotic scenes in Spain over the weekend, heralding the country's biggest political crisis in decades. Catalonians out in their millions across the region on Sunday, to vote in an independence referendum banned by Madrid. Many met by heavy-handed riot police, some 840 people injured in clashes, batons and rubber bullets were used.
Police even smashed their way into voting stations to confiscate ballot boxes. But, for independence campaigners, the vote was still a success. Though turn out was low, 90% of those who did vote chose to break away from Spain. Reuters' Julien Toyer in Madrid says, even if this doesn't mean independence, it could mean greater autonomy for Catalonia.
>> Part of the end game for the Catalan top politicians has been to force the central government into a negotiation the central government didn't want to go to. Now the question mark is if and when the negotiations take place, whether the original Catalan President will be able to calm down his troops.
And tell them, look, we had discussed independence, but maybe now time has come to actually sit down and negotiate something else.>> Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Catalonia had failed to hold, quote, a legal referendum. And thanked security forces for doing their job. But the Catalan President on Monday condemning the violence and calling for an investigation.
He says he's not looking for a traumatic split from Spain, but a new understanding.>> The situation is more difficult today, on Monday, than it was on Friday. The next step, and it could happen in the very next few days. Could be for the regional government to pass on the results of the referendum to the Catalan Parliament.
And from there, the Catalan Parliament should logically declare unilateral independence.>>