BARCELONA, Spain, (Reuters) - The leader of Catalonia is convinced all voters will act peacefully on Sunday when the region is called to vote in an independence referendum declared illegal by Spain.
"I don't believe there will be anyone who will use violence or who will want to provoke violence that will tarnish the irreproachable image of the Catalan independence movement as pacifist," Carles Puigdemont told Reuters on Friday.
He called on Spanish police, who have been shipped into the region in their thousands, to block any move to hold the referendum, to act in a professional rather than a political capacity, when carrying out their duties on Sunday.
"I would like them to use the same standards that the (Catalan regional police) use. Not political standards, not on political orders, but policing and professional standards," he said.
(Reporting by Catherine MacDonald; Writing by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Mark Bendeich.)(firstname.lastname@example.org;+ 34 91 585 8328; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com)