The Latest: Germany hopes for de-escalation in Catalonia

The Latest on the fallout after Catalonia's disputed independence referendum (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

German officials say they are hoping for a "de-escalation" of the situation in Spain, but insist the conflict over Catalonia's independence drive is a domestic Spanish matter.

Asked about the Spanish police crackdown Sunday on people trying to vote in Catalonia's independence referendum, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said "it's absolutely not my role to evaluation police operations in Spain."

Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday that "it's the role of every government to uphold the democratic order," noting that Spain's constitutional court had previously declared the referendum to be in breach of the country's constitution.

He said Germany wasn't seeking to mediate in the dispute between Madrid and the regional government in Barcelona.


12:20 p.m.

Catalonia's regional government is mulling when to declare the region's independence from Spain in the wake of a disputed referendum that has triggered Spain's most serious national crisis in decades.

The region's pro-independence president, Carles Puigdemont, who has said an independence declaration will come in a few days, is due to deliver a speech later Wednesday.

Spain, which declared Sunday's referendum illegal and invalid, is bitterly opposed to any independence move. Spain's conservative government has said it will respond with "all necessary measures" to counter Catalan defiance, and is holding talks with opposition leaders to forge a consensus over what to do in response.

In a special national address Tuesday night, Spain's King Felipe VI said Catalan authorities had deliberately bent the law with "irresponsible conduct."

Spain's National Court on Wednesday said it will quiz two senior officers of Catalonia's regional police force and the leaders of two pro-Catalan independence civic groups who have been placed under investigation for sedition.