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Catalan official calls for dialogue with Spain

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Catalan official calls for dialogue with Spain

Catalonia's foreign affairs chief called for talks with Spain amid mounting pressure to resolve the crisis between the separatist government in Barcelona and the central government in Madrid, Bloomberg News reported.

In an Oct. 8 interview with Bloomberg TV, Raul Romeva said the Catalan government was ready for negotiations, but "to start negotiations we need the other party to negotiate with."

About 350,000 people joined unity protests in the Catalan capital on Oct. 8, calling for a united Spain. Meanwhile, a delegation from Cercle d’Economia, a business forum, met with Catalan President Carles Puigdemont over the weekend to demand he drop his threat to declare independence.

Romeva added that breaking up Spain could impact the entire European economy.

Puigdemont is seen as ready to declare independence Oct. 10 at the regional parliament, while Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said "national unity will be maintained," Bloomberg reported.