Tags: EU | Spain | Catalonia Independence

Spain PM Holds First Talks with Catalan Pro-secession Leader

Spain PM Holds First Talks with Catalan Pro-secession Leader

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 02:23 PM

MADRID (AP) — Acting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy held his first official meeting Wednesday with Catalonia's pro-independence regional president, with talks likely centering on the region's finances although the secession issue was certain to surface.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont took office in January, promising to push ahead with his coalition government's secession plans for the region in northeastern Spain. Rajoy, who heads Spain's caretaker government since the inconclusive Dec. 20 election, was likely to reiterate his steadfast opposition to Catalonia's independence.

The two said nothing to reporters as Puigdemont arrived at the presidential palace Wednesday evening. The Catalonia leader was to hold a news conference later.

Catalonia accounts for nearly a fifth of Spain's economic output. The independence drive has gathered force in recent years after Catalonia failed to win more financing concessions from Madrid.

Pro-secession parties hold a slim majority in the Catalan regional parliament but the region of 7.5 million people is evenly divided over splitting from Spain.

This version corrects that Spain's election was held on Dec. 20, not Dec. 30.

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Acting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy held his first official meeting Wednesday with Catalonia's pro-independence regional president, with talks likely centering on the region's finances although the secession issue was certain to surface.Catalan President Carles...
EU,Spain,Catalonia Independence
174
2016-23-20
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 02:23 PM
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