Businesses report extortion by ETA
6 August 2007, MADRID - A Basque business group has reported that its members had received new extortion demands of up to EUR 400,000 from the armed Basque separatist group ETA, according to news reports on Monday.
6 August 2007
MADRID - A Basque business group has reported that its members had received new extortion demands of up to EUR 400,000 from the armed Basque separatist group ETA, according to news reports on Monday.
Letters demanding the "economic aid" have been sent to several firms and business executives since the middle of July, Enrique Portocarrero, head of the Basque Business Circle, told leading Cadena SER radio.
The letters, written in Basque and with a summary in Spanish, warned that failure to pay the money would "open the way for ETA to decide what action to take against you and your business," the SER said.
"We have to reject this type of mafia activity and denounce it," Portocarrero said.
ETA has killed more than 800 people since 1968 in its bid to establish an independent Basque state in northeast Spain.
The group has often extorted businesses in the past. It resumed the practice after ending on June 5 a cease-fire it called 15 months earlier.
In recent weeks, Spanish and French police have arrested dozens of suspected members of the group and authorities said they had averted several planned attacks.
In its last lethal action, ETA, whose name is a Basque-language acronym for Basque Homeland and Freedom, interrupted its own cease-fire with a massive bomb attack at Madrid's airport on 30 December in which two Ecuadorean immigrants died.
The group later claimed the cease-fire was still in force, but then ended it definitively in June.
(Copyright AP with Expatica)
Subject: Spanish News