Dr Daniel Cetrà is a Research Fellow in nationalism and pro-independence movements at the Centre on Constitutional Change at Edinburgh University.

CATALAN President Carles Puigdemont did not declare independence and called for weeks of dialogue instead.

The tone was conciliatory, with respectful references to last Sunday’s pro-Spain demonstration in Barcelona. Puigdemont also recognized that many Catalans are concerned that several companies have moved their registered head offices out of Catalonia due to political uncertainty.

His discourse was mostly addressed to the international community, seeking to show responsibility and emphasizing the need for dialogue and calls for mediation.

The content and tone of the message could contribute to de-escalate the political tension in Catalonia and Spain.

In a confusing formulation, Puigdemont said there is a mandate for independence and signed the declaration of independence but proposed to postpone its coming into force to seek a negotiated solution.

He sought to find a balance that would satisfy everyone in the pro-independence camp, which is divided on the issue of declaring independence unilaterally

This is a difficult balance and there could be divisions within the pro-independence camp. His Together for Yes coalition needs the parliamentary support of the CUP, a smaller pro-independence party which hoped for a UDI. The coalition Catalonia Yes We Can, pro-referendum but not pro-independence, applauded Puigdemont’s call for dialogue and could become a partner in future attempts to reach a negotiated solution.

At the time of writing, the Spanish Government has stated that Puigdemont’s actions are impermissible and is likely to take legal action. Another crucial actor is the Socialist Party and whether they side with Mariano Rajoy’s response.