"We back the position of the Spanish government that has to be adopted by all sides."
Silvio Berlusconi says he would have responded differently to the Catalonia crisis than Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy, backing a "legally controlled" referendum to resolve the situation.
Europe's stock markets slid on Thursday in response to Spain's escalating political crisis, while investors awaited the start of an EU summit where Brexit will once again be the focus of attention.
Madrid will press ahead with the process of applying article 155 of the country's constitution and suspending Catalonia's autonomy, a new statement from the Spanish government said.
Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has told Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy that the region's parliament could formally vote through its suspended independence declarion if Madrid "persists in impeding dialogue".
With the Catalonia independence push continuing to dominate the news in Spain, here's a look at three of the key players in Spain's deepest political crisis in decades.
Barcelona shrugged off an early Gerard Pique red card and the distractions of a first match at the Camp Nou since a violent crackdown of an independence referendum in Catalonia to beat Olympiakos 3-1 on Wednesday.
Catalonia's separatist leader Carles Puigdemont must abandon his bid for independence from Spain on Thursday or face an unprecedented move by Madrid to seek a suspension of his region's autonomy.