He has taken a firm line as the Catalonia crisis escalates.
And Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy looks far from ready to compromise.
He told El Pais newspaper on Saturday that he won’t rule out using constitutional powers to remove Catalonia’s autonomous status if it claims independence.
“The key issue is a swift return to lawfulness and normality,” Rajoy said, adding that his government would “prevent any declaration of independence amounting to anything”.
Rajoy said the issue would not force a snap national election. And he ruled out using mediators to resolve the crisis – something that Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has said he is open to.
A week on from an independence referendum deemed illegal by Madrid, tension is mounting with speculation that the Catalan parliament will vote on a unilateral declaration of independence on Tuesday.
On Spain’s streets on Saturday, tens of thousands called for peace and dialogue between leaders.
Demonstrators gathered in Barcelona and nationwide.
But are their pleas falling on deaf ears?
The government has apologised for police violence last Sunday. But Rajoy says that thousands of extra officers shipped into Catalonia will stay until the conflict is resolved.