The Catalan First Minister, Carles Puigdemont, refuses to say how many voters his regional government will consider legitimate for interpreting the results of the independence referendum that he still insists will go ahead this Sunday.
“Today we are closer to a massive (turnout for the) referendum than we were one month ago”, he told AP, without getting into specifics.
In El Diario, he also suggested there was a plan to validate the results "separate from the Catalan government's validation. He was referring to international observers "who are going to issue their opinion on that".
He also failed to provide details of how the electoral commission—disbanded immediately after the Constitutional Court announced €12,000 a day fines for its members—would operate on Sunday.
"Let's see what the exact formula will be", he told El Diario.
He avoided a question on the majority needed for such a vote—separatists do not have enough regional MPs to change the Catalan Statute or even name a new chairman of the regional public TV channel, TV3—by referring back to the 2006 Catalan Statute that the Constitutional Court eviscerated in 2010.
He denied there was a fractured society in Catalonia and also said a unilateral declaration of independence was not currently on the table.
"What is on the table at the minute is just an itinerary: a referendum on the 1st. And our duty is to defend that referendum to the last. With all of the consequences. Until polling stations close."
After that, he continued, it would be time to "analyse and take decisions based on that reality".
During a TV interview broadcast on Sunday, Mr. Puigdemont said a declaration of independence from Spain would happen in October, if a "yes" vote wins.
The nuance between a "unilateral" declaration of independence and a what separatists would consider—according to their own suspended
referendum laws— to be a legitimate result depends on how a "yes" result would be declared to have "won", but the Catalan First Minister has no precise definition of what that means.
He labelled the central government's and courts' attempts to prevent the logistics of the referendum and stop people across the region from voting as "quite unsustainable".
The Spanish Home Office has refused to confirm numbers this month, but it is likely several thousand additional police officers from other regions have been sent to Catalonia on public order duties.
Mr. Puidgemont insisted again that the regional policing priority over the weekend should be "guaranteeing our safety", not stopping the vote.
"If normality is altered, we will see in what conditions we hold the referendum."
In his remarks to the Associated Press, the Catalan leader criticised his European colleagues for their decision to back the Spanish government: “They are very brave when they talk about other countries where they have no competencies, but where are they when we citizens need them?”.
He believes a "yes" vote on Sunday will mean Europe will have to get more involved in the conflict.