Spaniards protest against ETA violence
A day after a businessman was allegedly gunned down by ETA members, Spaniards in Azpeitia, Madrid, Vitoria and Brussels are rallying against the separatist group’s terrorism acts.4 December 2008
AZPEITIA – Protest rallies were held in Spanish cities Thursday after a businessman involved in the construction of a high-speed rail network in the region was gunned down by suspected Basque extremists.
Ignacio Uria Mendizabal was the head of a company, Altuna y Uria, involved in the construction of a high-speed rail network in the region - a project opposed by ETA.
About 300 employees of Uria's company demonstrated against violence by separatist ETA commandos not far from where the company head was gunned down in the northern town of Azpeitia on Wednesday.
In Madrid, Spanish lawmakers rallied outside parliament after a message was read out condemning the murder signed by all parties represented in the assembly.
Members of the regional Basque government held a protest outside the government building in the northern city of Vitoria.
In Brussels, Spanish Environment Minister Elena Espinosa and Spanish European officials hold a banner reading "For freedom, for the defeat of ETA" in front of the European headquarters.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was expected to pay his respects in Aspeitia Thursday afternoon.
Zapatero condemned the attack as "cowardly" and warned that "the terrorist group ETA will never impose its violent solutions on us."
Police are looking for three suspects who fled the scene by car.
Florencio Dominguez, an expert on ETA, told AFP Uria was "clearly" targeted for his company's involvement in the high-speed rail project which ETA opposes.
The high-speed rail network will link Bilbao with the Basque regional capital Vitoria and with San Sebastian near the French border. It is scheduled to be completed in 2013.
ETA in the past has taken aim at major construction projects seen as harmful to the environment as a means of gaining support.
[AFP / Expatica]