The First Minister of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, declared on Sunday evening that the only body that could now suspend his regional government from power was the Catalan Parliament, "the seat of popular sovereignty".

"There is no other court or political body that can do so", he said in his message to Catalans for the annual September 11 Diada Day celebrations.

He added that the new independence referendum, which his government has called for October 1, is legal "according to the laws of the Parliament of Catalonia" and that Madrid had rejected all of their efforts at dialogue.