Stocks on the Continent have started the morning mostly slightly higher as traders digest the implications of a raft of political events over the weekend and on Monday.
On Sunday, Austria's conservative centre-right OVP won the country's legislative elections, taking 31.4% of the vote, but the far-right FPO also made off with 27.4%, which according to analysts meant that it may to re-enter the government, for the first time since 1999.
In parallel, Germamny's own centre-right CDU lost in regional elections in Lower Saxon, winning 33.7% of the ballots versus 37.1% for the Socliast SPD.
Against that backdrop, as of 1030 BST the benchmark Stoxx 600 was higher by 0.12% or 0.46 points to 391.88, alongside a gain of 0.17% or 21.54 points to 12,013.29 while the Dax was up by 0.17% or 22.00 points to 12,013.40.
Meanwhile, in Spain, on Monday morning Catalan president Carles Puigdemont rebuffed Madrid's calls for him to clarify whether he declared independence the week before, calling instead for two months of dialogue between international, Spanish and Catalan organisations and personalities.
Puigdemont also made two petitions, one of them being that the central government not bring charges against the two nationalist leaders and the head of the regional police force who were due to testify in a court in Madrid on Monday morning. He also called for a meeting with Madrid to explore possible solutions.
In response, Madrid said it would activite the second and last deadline set for Thursday at 1000 BST, which would trigger Article 155 of its Constitution.
That saw Spain's Ibex 35 drop 0.65% or 67.00 points to 10,191.00, with Siemens Gamesa, Caixabank and Banco Sabadell trading at the bottom of the pile.
However, the central government was at pains to underscore that the aim was not to suspend Catalonia's regional autonomy, but rather for its elected officials to return to the legal framework.
Shares of wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa were sharply lower after the company cut its guidance for full-year operating profits to about 790m versus a previous estimate of 900m.
In other corproate news, people close to the matter told Reuters Italy's Atlantia was willing to raise its takeover bid for Spanish rival Abertis to roughly 17.8bn if necessary.
The economic calendar was sparse on Monday, with only euro area international trade data for August set for release, at 1000 BST.
Later in the day, at 1330 BST, the Federal Reserve bank of New York would release its Empire State manufacturing index for the month of October.