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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Barcelona declares Catalan independence vote a "failure"

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Barcelona declares Catalan independence vote a "failure"

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has visited Catalonia for the first time since the region held an informal referendum in which voters favoured separating from Spain.

Speaking at a rally held by his Popular Party in Barcelona, Rajoy was on the offensive against the region’s president Artur Mas.

“If what he wanted was to create tension, divide the society, go above the law, we need to recognise that those objectives were reached. If what he wanted was to show a pro-independence Catalonia he failed,” Rajoy declared.

Catalonia held the unofficial poll on November 9 after plans to stage a proper referendum were suspended when the Spanish government challenged its legality in court.