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BREAKING: Spain rejects call for mediation in Catalonia crisis


Spain’s government on Wednesday rejected calls by the leader of Catalonia for mediation over the region’s demands for independence which have sparked a violent political crisis.

A statement from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s office said there would be no talks until Catalan president Carles Puigdemont abandons the independence drive, which Madrid brands illegal.

“The government will not negotiate over anything illegal and will not accept blackmail,” the statement said.

BREAKING: Catalan vote: Catalan President  faults Spanish King  for failing to ease independence crisis


The Catalan President vowed to implement the results of the region's contested independence referendum on Wednesday and criticized the King of Spain for failing to bring the divided factions together.

In a TV address from the headquarters of the Catalan government in Barcelona, northeast Spain, Carles Puigdemont said King Felipe had missed an opportunity to mediate in the political and constitutional crisis that has engulfed the country.

"You disappointed many people in Catalonia who were expecting a call to dialogue," Puigdemont said, after an unexpectedly hardline TV address by the King on Tuesday night. "We need mediation," he said. "This conflict needs to be resolved in a political way, not with police." He directed parts of his address to Spaniards in other parts of the nation, to the king, and to Catalonians.

Puigdemont is expected to formally declare independence on Monday, after 90% of voters in last Sunday's referendum opted for a split -- a result that was followed by clashes between citizens and Spanish police.


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