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Talks Between Spanish Government, Catalan Separatists Break Down

FILE - Demonstrators march during a protest after Spain's cabinet meeting in Barcelona, Spain, Dec. 21, 2018.

The Spanish government says it is breaking off talks with Catalan secessionists about the region's future after failing to break a prolonged stalemate.

Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said Friday the Catalan separatists wouldn't budge from their demand for an independence referendum, which the government says is not possible. The government says it was prepared to offer other concessions, including greater financial assistance.

The Catalan regional government said it was prepared to keep talking.

The breakdown comes amid mounting tensions just days ahead of a high-profile trial at the Supreme Court in Madrid of 12 Catalan politicians and activists for their part in a 2017 secession bid that created Spain's deepest political crisis in decades.

The Catalan separatists went ahead with a banned independence referendum and unilaterally declared independence.