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Catalan told to clarify whether split is on

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Photographs by AP/PAUL WHITE

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (bottom right) is applauded by party members after his speech Wednesday at the Spanish parliament in Madrid. Rajoy said he rejected offers of mediation in the Catalonia crisis, and called for respect of Spanish law, a day after Catalan officials signed what they called a declaration of independence from Spain.

Spanish authorities gave Catalonia's separatist leader five days to explain whether his ambiguous statement on secession was a formal declaration of independence and warned Wednesday that his answer dictated whether they would apply never-used constitutional powers to curtail the region's autonomy.

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy issued an ultimatum Wednesday in Madrid to Catalonia’s separatist leader, giving him fiv... + Enlarge

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