surinenglish

New law to get even tougher on remnants of Franco's regime

The monastery at Valle de los Caídos in the Madrid mountains.
The monastery at Valle de los Caídos in the Madrid mountains. / REUTERS
  • Vice-president Carmen Calvo said it would be a law to help "everyone find themselves", so that Spain would never again, "be deprived of its freedoms"

The Cabinet approved on Tuesday plans for a new law to redress the remaining effects of the Franco dictatorship on Spanish life and replace existing 'Memoria Histórica' (Historical Memory) legislation, in force since 2007.

The new 'Memoria Democrática' (Democratic Memory) rules will, among other wide-ranging measures, convert the infamous Spanish Civil War monumental cemetery at Valle de los Caídos into a civil cemetery and monks will stop overseeing it. Last year General Franco's body was removed from there to a private cemetery.

The law will also ban charitable associations that defend totalitarian regimes, among them the foundation dedicated to General Franco.

Government vice-president Carmen Calvo said it would be a law to help "everyone find themselves", so that Spain would never again, "be deprived of its freedoms".

In reply to the Socialist-led cabinet's plans, right-of-centre parties have reacted negatively. The conservative PP said it was "scary" and designed to distract from the real problems of the country. But the PP hasn't said which way its MPs will vote on the law. Far-right Vox said it would vote against it.

The new law will also allow for victims of the previous regime buried in common graves to be reburied with public funds; the creation of a database of victims; a pardon for those imprisoned or executed over political offences from 1936 to 1978; cancelling noble titles awarded during the dictatorship and the possibility of descendants of the International Brigades, foreign volunteers who fought Franco, receiving Spanish citizenship.