The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, has spoken unsuccessfully three times with her Turkish counterpart to unblock the flight and throws in the towel: “We have been able to get this far”
Turkey has requisitioned hundreds of critically ill coronavirus respirators purchased and paid for by various communities in the face of Spain’s powerlessness. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya , admitted on Friday at a press conference that the Turkish Government has decided to keep them “for the treatment of their own patients.”
Arancha González Laya explained in a telematic press conference from the Palacio de La Moncloa that, in recent days, the Turkish Government has imposed “broad-spectrum” restrictions on the export of medical devices to “supply its own health system against this pandemic”. The issue is that the requisitioned cargo had been manufactured in Turkey on behalf of a Spanish company that had brought components for its manufacture from China, explain sources from the communities of Castilla-La Mancha and Navarra . After the respirators were shipped on the plane, Turkish customs held the shipment on Saturday. And the Turkish government has decided to keep it.
The minister has spoken three times this week with the Turkish foreign minister to unlock the shipment. The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa , has also done so with his counterpart. But without success. In fact, the government considers the material lost. As González Laya said yesterday when asked by this newspaper: “We have been able to get this far”.
The Turkish Executive has assured that this material will be able to reach Spain “in a few weeks”. However, foreign sources are skeptical of a delivery that they fear will not occur.
The blocked plane, of which EL MUNDO reported this Friday, has sanitary material purchased by the Ministry of Health and, at least, by the autonomous governments of Castilla-La Mancha and Navarra.
The respirators had been purchased and paid for by these administrations to strengthen their ICUs due to the expansion of the coronavirus. In fact, they should have arrived last Saturday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was involved from the first moment and began to make efforts to unblock the flight, according to what this newspaper could know, and tried unsuccessfully to leave for Madrid as a “diplomatic bag”.
The Government of Castilla-La Mancha, chaired by Emiliano García-Page , regretted yesterday that Turkey “has unilaterally decided to requisition” the 150 respirators that it had acquired for three million euros that it had already paid for. The regional executive now expects Spain to issue a diplomatic complaint about events “bordering on criminality,” as he assured in an official note. Those three million is what it costs for a year, for example, the dining room scholarships for disadvantaged families in the region.
In these days and while the plane was being held by the Turkish authorities, the Government of Castilla-La Mancha accelerated other routes that it kept open and has obtained and distributed among the different hospitals of the public network in the region 49 respirators that ensure the correct health care for critically ill patients, according to the regional executive.
The general secretary of Ciudadanos , Marina Bravo , has denounced on Twitter that “the Government cannot give up on these respirators” and must guarantee that “the impediments in Turkey are resolved as soon as possible.” “The lives of many citizens are at stake,” he said.