MADRID – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has dismissed Catalonia's non-binding vote on secession from Spain as a failure and ruled out talks about holding a legal independence ballot.
Rajoy said Wednesday that in addition to being against the law, Sunday's vote only saw about one-third of Catalans take part, despite months of pro-independence campaigning by Catalan authorities.
Catalan officials say 2.3 million people voted, with 80 percent of them approving secession. Some 6.3 million people were eligible to vote.
Catalan regional President Artur Mas, who claims the poll was a success, on Tuesday demanded negotiations with Rajoy toward staging an official independence referendum.
Angry at Spain's refusal to give the wealthy region more autonomy, Catalan politicians have been pushing for an independence vote for two years.