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The Tous family, who run the eponymous international jewellery brand, has decided to completely distance itself from the Catalan independence process, expelling from its foundation the journalist Pilar Rahola and the wife of former Catalan president Artur Mas, Helena Rakosnik, two of its patrons, to try to avoid a boycott by pro-union Spaniards.

Spanish online newspaper El Confidencial was first to report the news. They noted that the firm had to make it clear they were unconnected to the independence movement, after it was revealed that their president, Alba Tous, had dined in Cadaqués on the north Catalan coast with Rahola, the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, and the head of the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan police), Josep Lluís Trapero.

It won't be, however, until 20th December that the two will be formally informed of the decision during an extraordinary foundation meeting, although the nun Lucía Caram, one of the instigators of the foundation and a board member, has already let the two know of the family's plans.

Political weapon

Rosa Tous made her motives clear in a letter sent to sister Caram: "We've never wanted the foundation to be used as an ideological or political weapon by people who want to harm our reputation or that of an entity which carries out commendable work". As such, she says, "as president of the foundation I have to protect its reputation and avoid it being resented for ideological or political reasons".

In the letter, Tous says that the decision has been "carefully thought over" because she believes that "it's clear that we have to maintain public consistency in attending to our customers, members, workers, franchisees and providers".

The honorary president, Rosa Oriol, has argued that "at a time like this, people want to know what you think, and more so if you're a brand with such emotional charge for customers as Tous is", for which reason she said that "Tous is a company proud of being Spanish and Catalan and [which] has no link with the independence movement".