Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Sunday that the rule of law had prevailed in Catalonia because an independence referendum in the region prohibited by the courts had been blocked.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a political survivor, now faces one of the biggest challenges of his career: a surge in separatist fervour in Catalonia which many accuse him of having fanned.
Barcelona's La Liga match against Las Palmas will be played behind closed doors on Sunday (1415GMT) after the Spanish league refused to postpone the match.
Clashes broke out at polling stations across the northeastern region as police attempted to seize ballot boxes and prevent the 'illegal' vote on independence.
UPDATED: Spanish police in riot gear seized ballot boxes and surrounded activist-held polling stations in Catalonia on Sunday as thousands flooded the streets to vote in an independence referendum banned by Madrid.
People turned out before dawn to protect polling stations.