Spain's Socialist party agrees with gov't to ask Catalonia to clarify

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On the same day that Catalonia's president called for negotiations with Spain to secure independence for his state, the White House signaled it favored talks between Catalonia and the Madrid government and "them moving forward".

Following his declaration to Parliament, Puigdemont and his allies signed an Independence declaration outside the chamber, but its legal validity was unclear. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will chair an emergency cabinet meeting in response to Mr Puigdemont's announcement on Tuesday that he had accepted "the mandate of the people for Catalonia to become an independent republic" following a banned referendum earlier this month.

Italy does not recognize Catalonia's unilaterally proclaimed independence and believes that Spain's territorial integrity must be preserved, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said on Tuesday evening.

ON TUESDAY NIGHT, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont announced that he had signed a declaration of independence - however, he suspended implementation of the declaration to allow for negotiations to take place with the Spanish Government in the coming weeks.

Mariano Rajoy on October 11.

But the speech pleased financial markets, boosting the euro on hopes that his gesture would mark a de-escalation of Spain's worst political crisis since an attempted military coup in 1981. However, Rajoy did not specify whether Madrid would assume direct control of Catalonia.

At stake is the future of a region of 7.5 million people deeply divided over Independence, one of Spain's economic powerhouses, whose drive to break away has raised concern for stability in the European Union. The crisis has caused deep uncertainty for businesses in one of the wealthiest regions in the eurozone's fourth-largest economy.

Spain and Catalonia now enter into the unknown, as Madrid has repeatedly said independence is not up for discussion.

"Yesterday I tried to send a message of calmness and to remind people that we are facing a political problem that we need to solve with politics and not with police", he said.Hundreds of people were injured in Catalonia on October 1 as Spanish national police sought to prevent the referendum going ahead.

According to the Catalan government, as many as 90.18% of voters supported the idea of Catalonia's independence.