A day after hundreds of thousands of people marched in Barcelona to demand the release of separatist officials, Mariano Rajoy also urged businesses not to flee the wealthy northern region.
The independence crisis in Catalonia has only made a very limited impact on the Spanish economy, EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Thursday.
The separatist party of deposed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who is facing an arrest warrant issued by Spain, said Sunday that they wanted him as candidate for regional elections on December 21.
Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont called on Saturday for a united political front in the Dec. 21 election to continue the drive for independence from Spain and to protest against the imprisonment of former members of the regional government.
A lawyer for dismissed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who is due to appear in a Spanish court this week to answer charges relating to Catalonia's push for independence, said he was not expected to return to Spain soon.
Catalonia's secessionist politicians have admitted that the region's independence declaration failed and recriminations have started to fly.
Spain's control over Catalonia will be tested on Monday when politicians and civil servants return to work amid uncertainty over whether they will accept direct rule imposed by the central government to stop the region's independence bid.
Catalan independence parties are seen as losing their parliamentary majority in an election, according to a poll published on Sunday, though the wafer-thin margin between the two sides predicts a hard-fought campaign to December's ballot.
Granting Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont political asylum in Belgium would be "not unrealistic" if he asks for it, the Belgian migration minister said, underlining his country's position as a contrarian voice in the Spanish standoff.