Letter: Basque violence

November 17, 2000

Manuel Montero's statement that "the pressure of Eta is not stopping freedom of speech in the Basque Country" is over-optimistic ("Violence forces Basque academic to flee", THES , November 3).

For the critics of Basque nationalism, the mere expression of their political opinions in most public circles (including the university) is risky and usually leads to threats (often followed by deeds) against life and property.

It is no wonder that many Basques have abandoned their beloved country and, according to several polls, many more would do so if they could reorganise their family and professional life elsewhere. For many Basques (given the obvious difficulties of being an everyday hero), this is the only way not to surrender to a campaign of systematic extortion, blackmail and sheer terrorism.

Javier Diaz-Malledo
Madrid

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