Financial Times: No progress in Catalonia-Madrid talks

Political and fiscal conflicts between Spain’s central government and the restive region of Catalonia appear set to intensify in coming weeks after fruitless talks between Mariano Rajoy, prime minister, and Artur Mas, the Catalan leader.

“An historic opportunity for an understanding between Catalonia and Spain has been lost,” Mr Mas said after the meeting on Thursday in Madrid.

Mr Rajoy, who is battling on a separate front to avoid making a formal request for an international financial rescue for Spain, made no concessions to Mr Mas’s demand for a “fiscal pact” under which Catalonia would gain more control over its taxes.

However, the centre-right government in Madrid wants to keep channels of negotiation open with the Catalans in spite of a rising tide of pro-independence sentiment in the region.

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