Spanish prosecutors are considering possible indictments against Catalonia’s separatist leaders, who have been dismissed by the central government.
The Catalan regional parliament on Friday voted unilaterally to declare independence from Spain.
Madrid has stripped the region of its autonomy and dismissed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and others, but they remain defiant.
Public prosecutors have been looking into the case. The country’s attorney general is expected to announce the decision on indictments as early as Monday.
Local media have reported that prosecutors have asked the court for permission to look into rebellion charges.
If the case goes to court and they are found guilty, they face a maximum of 30 years in prison.
But severely punishing the separatist leaders is likely to ignite strong reactions from their supporters and aggravate the situation.
The president of the European Parliament has expressed support for Spain’s decision to hold a new election in Catalonia after the region’s unilateral declaration of independence.
Antonio Tajani spoke to reporters on Saturday at the Vatican, where he had attended a forum on the future of Europe.
He called the Spanish government’s decision “the right thing to do.” He said no one will ever recognize Catalonia as an independent country.
Tajani stressed the need for dialogue under the “difficult situation,” but added that does not mean the European Union could mediate, because it is an internal Spanish issue.