In a rambling press conference in four languages that started half-an-hour late, the former First Minister of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont told reporters that he was the legitimate president of Catalonia and that he was not in the Belgian capital as an asylum seeker.

Asked repeatedly whether he would return to Spain to face criminal charges with a maximum 30-year sentence, Mr. Puigdemont said he would return once he had "legal guarantees", and that was the reason for the group's decision to travel to Brussels.

El País confirmed there were seven other former regional ministers in Bruss...