surinenglish

New government to go ahead with moving General Franco's remains

  • Pedro Sánchez has confirmed that the dictator's burial site will be turned into a neutral memorial to victims of both the Republican and Nationalist sides in the Spanish Civil War

The new PSOE Socialist government of Pedro Sánchez has lost no time in fulfilling its pledge to remove the remains of the former dictator General Franco from his ceremonial burial place in the mountains near Madrid.

The new prime minister confirmed that they will push for legislation before the next election in 2020 to exhume the dictator from the Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen) and turn the large site into a neutral memorial to victims of both the Republican and Nationalist sides in the Spanish Civil War.

The complex was designed by Franco himself and includes the unmarked graves of some 34,000 victims from the 1936-39 conflict.

In the last Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, steps were taken to start the process, under Historical Memory laws, to return Franco's remains to his family, however the later conservative PP government had blocked the move, citing the "opening of old wounds". Sánchez has denied this will happen, saying the removal will be part of a healing process in a modern democratic state.