Spanish and Catalan leaders say no deal reached over independence referendum

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The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Catalunya president Artur Mas came away from talks in Madrid on Wednesday saying no deal had been reached on resolving a bitter dispute over Catalunya’s plans to hold a referendum on independence in November.

Rajoy considers any referendum illegal and violating Spain’s Constitution, drawn up in 1978.

Mas said the Spanish PM was unable to address Catalans’ concerns they aren’t getting a fair deal out of Spain.

“There is no proposal from the state’s side to resolve this political conflict, other than reminding us that, according to them, the consultation is illegal. But I reiterate that there is the possibility to turn it into a legal consultation, if there is sufficient political will to do so. But today on this issue, there has been no agreement,” Mas said in a statement after the meeting.

Pro-independence sentiment in Catalonia has grown greatly in recent years, with many Catalans feeling they deserves better economic and political treatment from Madrid.

The meeting came hot on the heels of revelations that the former president of Catalunya and founder of modern Catalan nationalism, held a fortune in undeclared money in secret foreign bank accounts for decades.

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