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Spain PM to meet with Catalonia president ahead of effort for secession referendum

  • In this Monday, June 2, 2014 photo, demonstrators wave a pro-independence "estelada" flag during a protest calling for the independence and the implementation of the republic in Catalonia after the announcement of the abdication of Spain's King Juan Carlos in Barcelona, Spain. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the leader of the economically powerful Catalonia region are scheduled to hold a crucial face-to-face meeting on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in what could be a last chance for the two men to resolve a bitter dispute over the region’s plans to hold a secession referendum in November. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

    In this Monday, June 2, 2014 photo, demonstrators wave a pro-independence "estelada" flag during a protest calling for the independence and the implementation of the republic in Catalonia after the announcement of the abdication of Spain's King Juan Carlos in Barcelona, Spain. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the leader of the economically powerful Catalonia region are scheduled to hold a crucial face-to-face meeting on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in what could be a last chance for the two men to resolve a bitter dispute over the region’s plans to hold a secession referendum in November. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2014 file photo, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaks during a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Rajoy and Artur Mas, the leader of the economically powerful Catalonia region, are holding a crucial face-to-face meeting Wednesday, July 30, in what could be a last chance for the two men to resolve a bitter dispute over the region’s plans to hold a secession referendum in November. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2014 file photo, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaks during a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Rajoy and Artur Mas, the leader of the economically powerful Catalonia region, are holding a crucial face-to-face meeting Wednesday, July 30, in what could be a last chance for the two men to resolve a bitter dispute over the region’s plans to hold a secession referendum in November. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 25, 2012 file photo, Artur Mas, president of the Catalan regional government, speaks during an extraordinary parliamentary session on the fiscal pact at the Parliament of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Mas are holding a crucial face-to-face meeting on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in what could be a last chance for the two men to resolve a bitter dispute over the region’s plans to hold a secession referendum in November. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)

    FILE - In this July 25, 2012 file photo, Artur Mas, president of the Catalan regional government, speaks during an extraordinary parliamentary session on the fiscal pact at the Parliament of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Mas are holding a crucial face-to-face meeting on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in what could be a last chance for the two men to resolve a bitter dispute over the region’s plans to hold a secession referendum in November. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)  (The Associated Press)

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the leader of the economically powerful Catalonia region are holding a crucial face-to-face meeting Wednesday in what could be a last chance for the two men to resolve a bitter dispute over the region's plans to hold a secession referendum in November.

The independence campaign holds profound consequences for Spain as it emerges from its worst economic crisis in a generation, with Catalonia as a major driver of growth.

Rajoy will meet Catalonia President Artur Mas in a closed-door session following months of clamor by political parties and business groups for the two to try to come up with a roadmap to prevent the dispute from boiling over — but there is little expectation that they will succeed.