Catalonia's president is facing mounting pressure from within the separatist movement to declare independence from Spain once and for all, after suspending the signed proclamation this week.
Catalan president Carles Puigdemont made a symbolic declaration of independence on Tuesday night, only to suspend it seconds later and call for negotiations with Madrid.
Two key allies of Puigdemont has today called on him not to waste any more time, and to ignore the Spanish government's threats to take control of Catalonia's regional government.
Pull off the band-aid: Allies of Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has today called on him to ignore the Spanish government's threats to take control of Catalonia's regional government
Spain considers the referendum to be illegal and unconstitutional, and says its results are invalid.
Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy has rejected any possibility of dialogue unless Mr Puigdemont backtracks, returns 'to legality' and takes independence off the table.
Mr Rajoy has also said that Spain does not need international mediators to get involved.
Mr Rajoy's government gave Mr Puigdemont a Monday deadline to clarify whether he really declared independence. If he did, he will have three more days to cancel any secession plans.
If he does not comply, Mr Rajoy has threatened to trigger a constitutional article that could give central authorities power to intervene directly in Catalonia.
Joy: Pro-independence supporters react after the news that an independence declaration had been signed on Tuesday, however this was suspended seconds later by Mr Puigdemont
The other side: Catalan police walk along demonstrators from Spanish far right groups march to protest Catalonia's push for independence
Peace offer: Demonstrators hold a banner reading 'Let's get rid of hate' with an image depicting Rajoy and Puigdemont kissing each other during a protest in Madrid
The far-left separatist Catalan party CUP said in a letter dated on Friday that Mr Puigdemont should ignore the Spanish government's warning, lift the suspension and definitively proclaim independence.
The Assemblea Nacional Catalana, or ANC, a civil society group that organised massive protests in support of secession, also issued a brief statement with a similar message.
'It doesn't make sense to keep the suspension of the independence declaration' given Madrid's rejection of any dialogue, ANC said in the statement.
Some politicians of the two parties in the ruling coalition have also expressed similar views on social media, with only a few of them calling for calm.
The Catalan government has not given any signal of what it intends to do.
Demands that Mr Puigdemont make his position clear, was followed by comments from European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, who said he did not want an independent Catalonia.
Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy has rejected any possibility of dialogue unless Mr Puigdemont backtracks, returns 'to legality' and takes independence off the table
Mr Juncker said he feard it could inspire other regions to do the same, and make governing the EU too complicated – but admitted that it was none of the EU's business if secession took place or not.
'If we allow Catalonia – and it is none of our business – to separate, others will do the same. I do not want that,' Jean Claude Juncker said in a speech at Luxembourg University.
He said he was 'very worried' about separatist tendencies in Europe and had encouraged Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to ensure the situation was brought under control.
Referring to Catalan calls for EU mediation, he said the Commission could not mediate if only one side asked it to do so. The EU has said it has confidence in Rajoy to resolve what it sees as an internal issue.
Years of growing separatist sentiment erupted on October 1 when Catalan leaders held the banned referendum despite court rulings and a fierce opposition from Spain.
About 2.3 million Catalans, or 43 per cent of the region's electorate, voted amid police violence to halt the referendum.
Catalonia said 90 per cent favoured secession and it declared the results valid.
Opponents boycotted the vote.