Catalans urged to strike to protest police crackdown on poll

The EU has said 'violence can never be an instrument in politics'

The Archbishop of Barcelona has condemned the violence during Sunday's Catalan independence referendum as "deplorable".

"The European Commission must encourage global mediation".

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has attacked Spain's King Felipe VI for "deliberately ignoring millions of Catalans".

Despite the crackdown, over 2.26 million people - out of five million eligible voters - cast votes on Sunday, of which 90 percent backed independence.

More than 800 people were injured after Spanish police stormed polling stations and tried to forcibly prevent people from voting, firing tear gas and physically attacking prospective voters.

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Catalans took part in a general strike and protest Tuesday, shutting down road traffic, public transport and businesses and ratcheting up fears of unrest.

"It's one of the worst decisions this country has taken in the last 40 years because it's only separated Catalonia from Spain even more".

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government replied that Puigdemont had wasted an opportunity to put Catalonia back on a legal course. Puigdemont is seeking worldwide mediation following the vote, saying he wants to reach an understanding with the Spanish government, and avoid a "traumatic break".

In a fiery speech on Tuesday evening, Spain's King Felipe accused the Catalan authorities of "scorning" Spanish unity and threatening the stability of the whole country.

"If he says "as of tomorrow Catalonia will be an independent state", this will be seen as very confrontational to the Spanish Government".

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Protestors, many of them students, waved the Catalan independence flag Monday and held up signs demanding more democracy outside the headquarters of the Spanish police in Barcelona.

Catalonia president said the region will declare independence from Spain within days.

Puigdemont also called for "detente" as Catalans reeled from the clashes.

The Foreign Office said the referendum was "a matter for the Spanish government and people".

Scotland itself rejected independence from the United Kingdom in a binding 2014 referendum, although nationalists are still the dominant force in Scottish politics.

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