CATALAN president Carles Puigdemont intends to address the regional parliament next Tuesday amid growing speculation his government is to deliver on a pledge to declare independence.

The moves towards independence for Spain’s north-eastern region came as the Catalan government submitted the final results of the vote to the region’s parliament, an essential move under the laws the parliament passed to pave the way for independence.

The final numbers confirm earlier forecasts and show 90 per cent of votes were cast in favour of independence.

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The Catalan nationalist ruling coalition suffered a setback on Thursday when Spain’s constitutional court suspended a Monday plenary session of politicians for assessing the vote’s results.

But Puigdemont has said the vote is valid despite a constitutional court ban to hold it, with a turnout of some 40 per cent of the region’s 5.5 million eligible voters depsite the ruling and police acting violently to try to halt voting.

Spain’s conservative government, which is now under political and social pressure, has rejected any dialogue unless Catalans drop plans for secession.

Tuesday’s address request was for Puigdemont to “report on the current political situation”, according to a brief statement by the president’s office.

It was unclear if he or other Catalan politicians would use the meeting to introduce a vote to declare independence.

The speakers’ board of Catalonia’s regional parliament was holding an urgent meeting yesterday afternoon in which the address was likely to be discussed.

Spain’s central authorities deemed the referendum illegal and a constitutional court suspended it. But the Catalans defied the central government and the vote went ahead on October 1, despite a lack of census controls and a brutal crackdown by Spanish police who were trying to halt the vote.

The regional government said 2.28 million Catalans voted, which is 43 per cent of eligible voters.

The No side received some eight per cent of the votes.

Meanwhile, Spain’s government has tried to step up economic pressure on Catalonia. It has approved a decree that would make it easier for companies to move the location of their official business registration out of the region.

The move will allow the relocation of Caixabank, Spain’s third largest bank by assets, before next week, when separatist authorities in Catalonia want to declare independence.

Caixabank’s board met yesterday to discuss the issue and later said it will move its base from Barcelona to Valencia amid “political uncertainty.”

In a statement, the bank said the reason for the relocation was to “completely safeguard the legal and regulatory framework substantial for its activity” and to remain in the eurozone and under the supervision of the European Central Bank.

At least half a dozen other big companies, including the fifth-largest lender, Banco Sabadell, have already relocated or agreed to do so.

The moves are largely symbolic, with no immediate effect on jobs or company assets in Catalonia, but are seen as a blow to the Catalan government’s secession hopes.

Spain’s economy minister, Luis de Guindos, said: “This is the result of an irresponsible policy that is causing uneasiness in the business community.”

He added the situation is generating uncertainty that is paralysing investment projects in Catalonia, and he that he believed until the situation became more certain there would be no new inward investment in the area.

Spain’s main stock index was down slightly yesterday afternoon, with the Catalan banks leading losses amid uncertainty over the region’s independence bid.

In Madrid, the Ibex 35 index lost 0.9 per cent to 10.126 points by midday. The biggest fallers were Banco Sabadell and Caixabank.

But two other Catalan companies, textile maker Dogi and reprographics company Service Point Solutions, saw their shares surge after they said they had plans to relocate.

Cava-maker Freixenet, a household name, is also considering a move while telecommunications provider Eurona and biotech firm Oryzon have already completed their relocations.