Pep Guardiola calls Spain “authoritarian state”

Pep Guardiola presented the case for a referendum on Catalan independence. He spoke on Sunday on the steps of Montjuïc (Barcelona) before an estimated 40,000 of his fellow citizens, and flanked by an enormous banner with the slogan “Love Democracy”, the former Barcelona and current Manchester City manager read out a brief manifesto in Catalan, Spanish and English, The Guardian reports.

We have tried to reach an agreement 18 times and the answer has always been no. With this response, they (Spanish government) ignore the support for a referendum of 80 percent of the population. They show contempt for the large majority in favour of it in Catalonia’s parliament. We have no other solution and the only possible answer is to vote. We call on the international community to help us. We call on all democracies in Europe and around the world to stand by us in defending the rights under threat in Catalonia, such as freedom of political expression and the right to vote to face up to the abuses of an authoritarian state,” he said during his speech.

Voters in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia have been asked to cast their ballot on October 1 in a referendum that will ask them: Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a republic?