BARCELONA — “Now what?”

That’s what people on the streets here were asking after more than 2 million Catalans voted overwhelmingly Sunday in a chaotic, violent referendum to declare independence from Spain.

The mood was not jubilation. It was anxiety.

On Monday, secessionist leaders prepared to present the results to Catalonia’s regional parliament, which has vowed to move forward with the creation of an independent republic.

But nervous European leaders, who watched the chaos and violence explode on Sunday, warned the region in northeastern Spain to pause.

The European Union saw the referendum as a violation of the Spanish constitution and privately worried about other secessionist movements in Europe.

The lopsided vote Sunday is sure to be vigorously challenged in the Spanish courts, which have already declared the vote illegal. The central government in Madrid has described the referendum and its results as illegitimate.

There was no sign of contrition from Madrid on Monday that its National Police and Guardia Civil militia had gone too far in trying to stop the vote, despite scenes of officers clad in riot gear firing rubber bullets, whipping citizens at polling stations with rubber batons and dragging some, including women, away by their hair.

Just the opposite. Spanish authorities generally commended the police. The Spanish interior minister conceded that some of the violence looked “unpleasant,” but the response by riot police was “proportionate,” he said.

The Catalan government announced early Monday that 90 percent of the ballots cast were for independence.