December 22, 2017 / 1:39 PM / in 2 months

Spain's Rajoy rules out national election after Catalonia upset

MADRID, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday ruled out calling a national election after Catalan separatists won a regional vote, thwarting his bid to resolve the country’s biggest political crisis in decades.

Rajoy had gambled on unionist parties taking control of Catalonia’s regional government, which he sacked in October for illegally pursuing independence from Spain.

Rajoy, speaking at a news conference, said he would make an effort to hold talks with the new Catalan government.

However, he did not clarify whether he would be willing to meet deposed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who is in self-imposed exile in Brussels and whose party retained its position as the largest separatist force. (Reporting by Paul Day; Writing by Angus Berwick; Editing by Ingrid Melander)

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