Catalan separatists score ‘footy’ ad to win fans

The pro-independence Catalan National Assembly (ANC) has launched a campaign to gain support among Spanish-speaking Catalans that uses a slogan used by fans of the Spanish national football team.

A new video shows a succession of people in red t-shirts declaring "Yo voy con la roja" (I'm with the reds). 'The reds' ostensibly refers to those in favour of a consultation vote on independence from Spain, due to be held on November 9th, who commonly wear red or yellow t-shirts, representing the colours of the Catalan 'senyera' flag.

But the slogan also plays on the fact that the same phrase was used in publicity campaigns to bolster support for Spain's national football team, also nicknamed 'La Roja', according to Spanish daily El Mundo.

The 28-second video encourages people to participate in the 'V de la Diada', a mass display of public support for the right to vote. Over 400,000 people have already signed up to take part in the formation of a giant red-and-yellow Vs across Barcelona and other Catalan cities on La Diada (Catalonia's national day) on September 11th.

Last year over 400,000 people formed the 'Via Catalana' (Catalan Way) by linking hands in an unbroken 480-kilometre human chain from the region's northernmost border with France to its southernmost boundary with Valencia.

With an economy that is roughly the size of Portugal's, Catalonia and its 7.5 million inhabitants — 16 percent of the Spanish population — have long been an engine for the country as a whole.

But a growing number of Catalans resent the redistribution of their taxes to other parts of Spain and believe the region would be better off on its own.

Catalan president Artur Mas has called for a November 9th referendum to test popular support in the region for the idea of independence from the rest of Spain but Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has insisted the vote would be illegal and has vowed to block it.

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