Pep Guardiola jumps on Catalonia independence bandwagon

Pep Guardiola [L] and Carles Puigdemont, the President of the Catalonia regional government. [@xarxaindepe / Twitter]

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola yesterday (11 June) joined thousands of protesters in Barcelona to call for independence for the Spanish region of Catalonia.

He made a strong plea for voters to take part in an independence referendum scheduled for 1 October.

Catalonia sets 1 October for independence vote

Catalonia’s regional government, the Generalitat, announced on Friday (9 June) that it intends to hold an independence referendum on 1 October despite clear opposition from the Spanish government. EURACTIV Spain reports.

The central government in Madrid dismisses the plan as illegal and unconstitutional and has pledged to take all necessary measures to prevent it. In the most extreme scenario, the Spanish government could activate Article 155 of the constitution, suspending Catalan autonomy, although this would be under very exceptional circumstances.

“We will vote, even if the Spanish state doesn’t want it,” Guardiola told a crowd of 40,000 people. “There is no other way.”

“We call on the international community to help us”, Guardiola said.

In fact, no international players support Catalonia’s calls for an independence referendum. Nevertheless, Catalan leaders says that an independent Catalonia would be recognised by the EU, because, in their view, it would be in the interest of the European bloc.