The battle for Catalonia was taken up a notch on Monday when Spain’s constitutional court decided to suspend the planned referendum on independence.
Madrid had originally appealed to the court to declare the vote illegal.
In a televised statement, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the poll would not be compatible with the Spanish constitution.
“Nothing and nobody, whether power or institution, can break this principle of single and indivisible sovereignty on which our coexistence is based,” he said. “In other words, no one person or group has the right to deprive all the Spanish people of the right to decide what their country is.”
On Saturday, Catalonia’s President Artur Mas, signed a decree calling the vote on independence from Spain for November 9.
However, under Spanish law, the referendum must now be suspended until a final ruling is made on its legality.