Euphoric crowds in Catalunya Square celebrated a conclusive victory in the referendum with preliminary results suggesting 90% of counted ballots favoured independence.
The results were revealed by regional government spokesperson Jordi Turull in the early hours on Monday morning.
Catalans who descended on the Square drunk beers, sang traditional Catalonian songs – with one man on an accordion proving extremely popular with the crowds – and danced into the night.
2.26 million Catalans turned out to vote in the referendum out of a total of 5.3 million registered voters in the region.
The comprehensive victory proved even sweeter for the Catalans who had faced unprecedented violence at the hands of the Spanish National Police and Guardia Civil throughout the day.
According to the Catalan department of health, 761 people were injured at the hands of the Spanish police forces. Two remain seriously injured and in hospital in Barcelona.
At least ten police officers have reported to have been injured in clashes.
The regional leader of Catalunya, Carles Puigdemont, spoke out against the violence with a determined address.
“On this day of hope and suffering, Catalunya’s citizens have earned the right to have an independent state in the form of a republic.
“My government, in the next few days, will send the results of the vote to the Catalan parliament, where the sovereignty of our people lies, so that it can act in accordance with the law of the referendum.”
The much-criticised Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy refused to acknowledge that the referendum had taken place and thus ruled its result invalid.
“There was no independence referendum in Catalunya today,” he said.
Prime Minister Rajoy has previously referred to the Spanish Constitution which binds “the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards.”
Despite Mr Rajoy’s rhetoric, Mr Puigdemont had vowed to declare independence within 48 hours if the Si vote won the referendum.
Sources inside Catalunya are reporting that Mr Puigdemont is to stay true to his word and will raise the unilateral declaration of independence in parliament over the next couple of days.
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