surinenglish

Reburial of Franco's body is halted by Supreme Court

File photo of Franco's tomb in the Valle de los Caídos.
File photo of Franco's tomb in the Valle de los Caídos. / AFP
  • The Socialist government decided to take Franco out of the Valle de los Caídos when they took over last June

The Supreme Court has blocked the acting government's plan to exhume the body of dictator General Franco from his ceremonial resting place next Monday, 10 June.

The ban on reburial is temporary while objections are heard and comes after Franco's descendants and the foundation set up to defend his legacy objected to the plan.

When the Socialist government took over last June, one of its first decisions was to take Franco out of the Valle de los Caídos, a large monument in the mountains near Madrid dedicated by Franco to victims of the Spanish Civil War. His body has had pride of place there since his death in 1975.

The government rejected the family's compromise of burying him in the crypt of Madrid's cathedral and went ahead with their plan to bury the general next to his wife in a small cemetery outside Madrid.

Now this has been stopped, with the court saying it was in the public interest to debate the move further. The acting government said the delay "wasn't a disaster" but sources expect Franco's family to take their case as far as the European Court of Human Rights.