The legitimacy ties that still hold Catalonia to the remaining part of Spain are being currently damaged first by the violence inflicted during the referendum, and then by the absence of denunciation of this very violence by the King.
This is a worrying signal that is highly likely to facilitate independence as the nation further splits. Meanwhile, the Catalans are likely to increasingly tend to perceive the Spanish political authorities as illegitimate for their community. They could even start perceiving these central authorities as wishing them harm.
As a result, escalation is eased.
Spain’s King Felipe VI has condemned organisers of Catalonia’s independence referendum for having put themselves “outside the law”. In a TV address to the nation, he said the situation in Spain was “extremely serious”, and called for unity. Thousands of people in Catalonia have been protesting over Spanish police violence during Sunday’s vote, during which nearly 900 people were hurt.