ETA extortion goes on despite truce rumours
17 November 2005, PAMPLONA — ETA has sent a new series of extortion letters to businessmen in which it demands that they pay a so-called "revolutionary tax".
17 November 2005
PAMPLONA — ETA has sent a new series of extortion letters to businessmen in which it demands that they pay a so-called "revolutionary tax".
It comes amid heightened rumours the Basque terrorist group would declare a truce.
The president of the Spanish region of Navarra's Confederation of Businessmen, Jose Manuel Ayesa, said that among the persons receiving the letters are businessmen who have refused to give in to ETA's past extortion demands.
He said the same individuals have now received letters in which the "tone of the message is heightened."
Others have become extortion targets for the first time, "but one can't say exactly how many, since some don't give any information" about it, he said.
He added that the amounts of money being demanded vary among individuals, just as occurred when another batch of extortion letters was sent by ETA in the summer.
Some persons have been told to cough up around EUR 11,998 (USD 14,000) and others as much as EUR 184,237 (USD 215,000), depending on the "economic strength" the extorters believe they have, Ayesa said.
He added that "there's no expectation that this will stop, as long as the terrorist group continues to exist. ETA needs financing and previously it was easier to get it by other routes, but now it's easier for it to turn to the businessmen."
Ayesa urged the extortion targets to refuse to pay.
"Paying is morally reprehensible because we all know what that money will be used for," he said.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news