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.