MPs vote to have Franco's body moved from Valle de los Caídos and buried elsewhere

  • He is the only one of 20,000 people buried there to have not died in the Civil War conflict

The process to have the body of dictator General Franco removed from its ceremonial resting place moved an important step closer on Thursday. MPs gave majority approval for the law change that allows the body to be taken out of Valle de Los Caídos, a controversial monument near Madrid built on Franco's instructions.

All parties voted in favour, except the PP and Ciudadanos parties who abstained. Two PP MPs voted against but later said they made a mistake in their votes. The two abstaining parties justified their vote by saying they didn't see the removal as urgent government business.

Franco is the only one of the 20,000 people buried in the Valle de Los Caídos, which was excavated in a mountain from 1941 to 1959, who didn't die in the Civil War conflict; an argument that the government has used to quickly have a legal exhumation approved.