February 8, 2019 / 3:35 PM / in 3 months

Catalan pro-independence parties reject talks proposed by Madrid

MADRID, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Catalan pro-independence parties have rejected the framework for talks proposed by the Spanish central government aimed at resolving the separatist crisis between Madrid and the wealthy northeastern region, Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said on Friday.

The rejection comes at an uneasy time for Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez ahead of next week’s 2019 vote on the budget bill, which is likely to fail without the support of the Catalan parties, and ahead of the trial of 12 jailed independence leaders starting on Tuesday.

“The pro-independence groups do not accept the framework we have proposed”, Calvo told a news conference after the weekly cabinet meeting. (Reporting by Jose Elias Rodriguez; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Hugh Lawson)

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