María Jesús Cañizares – 23.05.2020 00:00 h.
Betona Comin, her brother Toni Comin and Carles Puigdemont / C
The tentacles of the Council for the Republic, the parallel government custom made for the escaped Carles Puigdemont, have crossed the pond. But not precisely to bring the good news of independence to the American continent. The hard core of the former president has been involved in the scandal of the respirators acquired by the Bolivian Government, since the company that manufactures these emergency fans has as director of communication Betona Comín, sister of former counselor Toni Comín.
Both are props of the Puigdemont government. The first is such from the point of view of logistics, and sovereignty sources claim that she is behind the resignation of the former head of the Council for the Republic in Northern Catalonia. Her brother is a lieutenant in Waterloo and his career at the head of Health allowed Betona Comín to establish important contacts in the healthcare world.
The Bolivian Justice has announced an investigation to find out if the purchase of 170 respirators to treat Covid-19 patients was contracted for a premium. Both the manufacturing company and the intermediary are Spanish. It consists of 170 units of the Respira emergency device that GPA Innova produces with Siemens software and the support of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona. Betona Comín is responsible for public relations and communication for that company.
They were sold to the Bolivian Health Infrastructure and Medical Equipment Agency (AISEM) by IME Consulting, based in Bilbao. The contract contemplated a price per unit of $ 27,600. But the price of respirators, according to the Bolivian media, is between 7,000 and 11,000. In addition, the Government of this country ensures that respirators do not work.
Both companies have activated their crisis cabinets and have denied any type of irregularity, and even speak of “political set up”. For now, the crisis has led to the resignation of the Health Minister, Marcelo Navajas, who was detained along with four other people.
“The housekeeper of Comín”
Known as the “hermanísima”(sister-in-chief) or “the housekeeper of Comín”, Betona is a pedagogue, activist of the Catalan Association pels Drets Civils, –very active in the defense of the independence prisoners – and, above all, member of the Council for the Republic. Her professional and political career in recent years has been linked to that of her brother.
Both passed from the socialist to the neo-convergencia orbit, passing through an approach to ERC that earned Comín the chance to become a health counselor and his sister, the winner of several service contracts of the Generalitat, since Betona has dedicated herself to the organization of events and catering through the company Coses. But above all, to frequent the counselor premises led by his brother. That assiduity allowed her to cultivate important contacts, such as with the College of Physicians, chaired by Jaume Padrós, or with health companies for which she now works.
Betona Comín channels her activism through the Council for the Republic. She contributed her knowledge as an event organizer to the great rally that Puigdemont staged on February 29 in Perpignan. Two weeks earlier, the delegate of the Council for the Republic in Catalonia North, Júlia Taurinyà, resigned.
foray into the world of politics will have lasted just over four months.
Diverse motives: ideological, relational, professional and health”, she wrote
on her Twitter profile. Taurinyà, a journalist, had conceived the act as a
cross-sectional meeting, but the result was very different, since it became an
the definitive fight” and a censure of ERC for reaching out to “a Francoist state
with which there is nothing to negotiate”.
Sources from her environment assure that the real reason was the differences with Betona Comín. But the harshness of the positions of Puigdemont and Comín has not translated into a rebound in the government’s achievements “in exile.” The number of registered in the Council for the Republic is light years away from the million people that Puigdemont put as a condition to activate that body. At the rate of 10 euros per registered activist, the parallel Government would have raised about 10 million Euros. As of late yesterday afternoon, the Council’s website counted only 88,093 registered.