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Tous drops Artur Mas' wife from its charitable foundation over 'boycott' campaign
JEWELLERY and accessories chain Tous has removed two key members of its charitable foundation – a journalist and a politician's wife – after detecting a boycott of its wares by opponents of Catalunya's independence.
Helena Rakòsnik, 60 – born in Barcelona but with a Czech father – has been married to former regional president Artur Mas for 35 years and works in PR and marketing for the city transport board, as well as being on the board of the Rosa Oriol Foundation which helps underprivileged people in the region.
She is very closely linked to the separatist movement, as is her husband, who laid the grounds for Catalunya's breakaway referendum before handing the reins to president Carles Puigdemont.
Journalist Pilar Rahola is also a staunch defender of the region's secession, and publicly so, through her work.
They are among a multi-disciplinary team of around 220 volunteers including pensioners, business owners, students and professionals led by honorary chairwoman Rosa Oriol and founded with the help of Sister María Lucía Caram of the Santa Clara Convent in Manresa, Barcelona province.
Foundation chairwoman Rosa Tous, daughter of the Tous empire founders, says she has become aware of a campaign to boycott the up-market designer accessory brand because of its links with Catalunya's independence.
Rosa Tous stresses that she has no connection to the separatist movement whatsoever, and does not support it at all as she is 'proud to be both Spanish and catalana'.
And Tous as a firm is 'non-political' and 'eclectic in its beliefs', she insists.
“As chairwoman of the Foundation, I have to protect its, and our, reputations and keep them away from any political or ideological issues,” Rosa Tous said in an open letter to the board.
“Neither my family, my firm nor the Foundation have ever wanted to be used as a political or ideological weapon.”
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