SPAIN is to revoke Catalonia's autonomy on Saturday after the region's leader refused to abandon its independence bid.
The Spanish government said it would press ahead with steps to suspend the autonomy of Catalonia, minutes after the region's separatist leader threatened to unilaterally declare independence from Spain if Madrid continued its "repression."
"The Spanish government will continue with the procedures outlined in article 155 of the Constitution to restore legality in Catalonia's self-government," it said in a statement, referring to an article that allows for Madrid to take direct control over a region in exceptional circumstances.
The government was responding to a letter from Catalan president Carles Puigdemont who threatened to explicitly declare independence from Spain if no talks are offered.
Puigdemont said in the letter that if Spain's government continues to "impede dialogue and continues its repression," Catalonia's parliament will proceed to hold a vote on declaring independence from Spain.
Spain replied that the government would hold the special Cabinet meeting and "approve the measures that will be sent to the Senate to protect the general interest of all Spaniards."
The measure falls under Article 155 of Spain's 1978 Constitution, but has never been used in the four decades since democracy was restored at the end of Gen. Francisco Franco's dictatorship.
On October 1, Catalonia's separatist leaders opened the region's polling stations for what the national government had branded an "illegal" independence vote.
The Catalan leaders and the Spanish government have been at loggerheads for decades over campaigns for a split.
As tension mounted during the day, Spanish cops fired rubber bullets and beat people with batons as they tried to disperse crowds gathering to vote.
Police also forcibly dragged people out of polling stations as they tried to vote.
The regional government said voting took place in 73 per cent of approximately 6,000 polling stations. Over 900 people and 33 police officers were injured during the clashes.