Catalan voters clash with Guardia Civil as referendum chaos leaves 800 injured

More than 800 people required medical attention after riot police cracked down on the banned independence referendum regional authorities said

The European Commission Vice President has called on Spain and Catalonia to keep all lines of communications open, in order to find a solution to the current impasse following Sunday's controversial independence referendum for the region.

Spain's king has said the leaders of Catalonia have broken the law and shown an inadmissible lack of loyalty.

He said that the use of article 155, and the possible arrest of members of the Catalan government - including himself - could be the "ultimate mistake".

King Felipe made his own TV address on Tuesday night, calling Sunday's Catalan referendum illegal and undemocratic. "Instead of a Europe of 27 we will have a non-Europe of mini-states", he said.

"And therefore we will act over the weekend or early next week", he added.

Clashes left at least 92 people confirmed injured out of a total of 844 who needed medical attention, according to Catalan authorities.

By Sunday night, almost 2.3 million of the region's 5.3 million voters had cast ballots.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Catalan regional capital, closing metro stations, schools and cafes and blocking roads.

The king's televised speech is extremely unusual.

"Today Catalan society is fractured and in conflict", he said. He says the vote, conducted in the teeth of a violence-marred police operation seeking to prevent it from happening, gives Catalonia the right to become a republic.

Spain's Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, pointed to the voter turnout as a reason the vote did not happen.

For his part, Puigdemont claimed his government "would always have liked this process to be driven by dialogue [as] there wouldn't have been the police violence".

Catalonia's regional police have been accused of failing to rein in pro-independence protesters. "For many years during the Franco era, people weren't allowed to vote", Pique said.

"What I find harder to understand is this indifference, or absolute lack of interest, in understanding what is happening here", he said.

"These are hard times, but we will overcome them".

About 80% of Catalonians voted to separate from Spain in a separate independence referendum in 2014, but that was non-binding.

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