Catalonia's president fails to clarify position on independence from Spain

Carles Puigdemont, the president of Catalonia Credit: AP

The president of Catalonia has failed to clarify whether the region is seeking independence from Spain, following a disputed referendum which took place at the start of the month.

The Spanish government had given Carles Puigdemont a deadline of today to say whether or not he was declaring independence.

He made an ambiguous declaration of independence last week, which he then immediately suspended to allow time for talks with Spain.

But on the day of the deadline, Puigdemont sent a letter to the Spanish government in which he didn't answer "yes" or "no" to its question: "Have you declared independence in Catalonia?"

He instead called for two months of dialogue and requested that Spanish authorities halt "all repression" in Catalonia.

Spain's deputy prime minister said, regarding the letter, that Puigdemont hadn't provided an adequate response, and warned he had until Thursday to return to adhering by the country's laws.

The Spanish government declared the referendum to be illegal, and the police violently cracked down on voters and peaceful protesters, drawing international condemnation.

The country's prime minister Mariano Rajoy last week rejected calls for mediation talks over the issue, telling parliament: "there is no possible mediation between democratic law and disobedience and unlawfulness".