Fèlix Millet: From the “Banana Boys” to the winner of Convergència | Catalonia | The USA Print

Fèlix Millet Tusell, who died last Wednesday at the age of 87, was always a citizen above suspicion. He was endorsed by a canonical career as a puppy of that Catalan bourgeoisie that fled to Burgos during the Civil War, when his life and wallet were in danger, and that under the Franco dictatorship tried to fan the embers of Catalan culture. That is why when the Mossos broke into the Palau de la Música on July 23, 2009 by order of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, it was as if the trumpets of the apocalypse suddenly announced the end of time. Not surprisingly, Millet was recognized as a Knight of the Order of Isabella the Catholic, had the Clau de Barcelona, ​​and had the Creu de Sant Jordi in his possession. And all this despite the fact that we were warned. In 1983 he spent two weeks in pretrial detention for fraud in relation to the real estate company Renta Catalana. A year later everything would be liquidated with two months in jail and the imposition of a fine of 30,000 pesetas. Neither the warnings from the Audit Office nor his judicial record were capable of casting a shadow of doubt on one of our own, perhaps because he came into the world on the day of the Immaculate Conception in 1935.

Fond of music and especially jazz, he began his business journey at the Fernando Poo Industrial Agricultural Company (Caifer), one of the many that, like Banco Popular, his father presided over. The young Millet, also a great-nephew of the founder of the Orfeó Català, in addition to being an agricultural expert, played the guitar and the saxophone. In Guinea, according to the chronicles, he entertained the colonial nights as a member of the group banana boys. Fernando Poo and Río Muni were not foreign territories to the Millet surname. Already in the first half of the 20th century, a certain Francesc Millet –mayor of Santa Isabel and whose kinship with the Palau de la Música pillager has not been sufficiently proven– hired Civil Guard lieutenant Francisco Ayala to obtain by very unorthodox methods cheap labor on the plantations, as the book relates The little empire Catalans in the colonization of Spanish Guinea. Overseas business has often been like this. Everything ended in 1968 with independence. Millet returned to the old continent and entered the Catalan speculative fabric after studying business management at IESE. When he was prosecuted for the Renta Catalana case, he was already presiding over the Orfeó Català, a position he held for more than 30 years. There he acted as a great fundraiser for Convergència and, of course, for his own benefit. The saxophonist of the banana boys it became a great liquidity conduit for Jordi Pujol’s party. He solved any problem. Àngel Colom received –from a senior CDC leader– the indication to go to Millet to pay some 150,000 euros, the debt of the Partit per la Independència (PI), in danger of extinction.

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The president of the Orfeó Català was a means of financing for Pujol’s party. The Palau case shows how Convergència was supplied with illegal commissions channeled by the music lover Millerty paid by the now “Dutch” Ferrovial for obtaining public works. The sentence affirms that CDC obtained 6.6 million euros. The looting, however, could amount to 35 million euros, according to the summary. Millet spared no expense either: vacations in exotic countries, home works… In June 2002, he charged the wedding party of his daughter Clara to the Palau, although he charged his in-laws for half of the more than 80,000 euros that the party had cost. celebration. argent de poche compared to the global amount of looting.

Despite defining himself as a Catalan nationalist, Millet was a pragmatist and upon obtaining juicy contributions from the central government for the Palau, grateful, he did not hesitate to join the board of trustees of the Future Catalonia Institute, a regional section of the Aznarist FAES.

A few years later everything exploded. Those who knew everything tried to hinder everything. Jordi Pujol warned in 2010 –before confessing the existence of his hidden fortune in Andorra– of the similarities between the Banca Catalana case and the Palau case: “In these things I already have experience; in the end they come to nothing”. His dauphin, Artur Mas added: “All this is a bubble that will come to nothing; cut my throat if the Generalitat is a corrupt administration under a CiU government”. The electorate must have believed them because they won the 2010 elections and Joan Llinares, general director of the Palau, left his position after an intense year in which his actions, often against the current, were crucial to discovering the truth.

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Thirteen years later, after various surgeries and name changes, the CDC has 22 seized properties and the Palau has recovered only 12 million euros, half the money looted by Fèlix Millet and Jordi Montull during their time at the helm of the institution. After the sentence of 9 years and 8 months that he was now serving, Millet has still left two pending cases with the courts for concealment and disappearance of assets. He cannot be blamed for his consistency: until the end he has remained faithful to his principles.

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