Spain warns Catalan leader against swearing-in from Brussels

Spain's prime minister has warned that the government will keep control over the restive region of Catalonia if ousted Catalan leader Carlos Puigdemont tries to be regional president from Brussels, where he's a fugitive from Spanish justice.

Puigdemont, who led Catalonia's independence declaration in October that prompted the government intervention, wants to present his candidacy for regional president to the Catalan parliament via video or through a delegate to avoid returning to Spain and being arrested.

But Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Monday that the president must be sworn into office in person and that the special powers invoked by Spain have to remain in place until that happens.

Secessionist parties won the most seats in the December election, but eight of their lawmakers are fugitives or in jail.