Spanish MPs clear way to exhumation of Franco

Spanish MPs clear way to exhumation of Franco
By Robert Hackwill
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By a clear majority Spanish members of parliament have voted to remove the body of General Franco from a controversial Civil War cemetery.


The Spanish parliament has voted to make a hugely significant change to the main war cemetery of the Civil War for General Franco’s forces, exhuming the former dictator’s body.

The site is controversial as although intended to commemorate the estimated half a million war dead it has shrines to the two fascist leaders, Franco and Primo de Rivera.

It also contains a mass grave the bodies from which are still being identified today.

The vote was decisive. The public appears less convinced.

“Things should be left as they are because it is a monument to both sides of the Civil War, the dead of both sides. They should be included in history whether we like them or not,” said one woman.

“Regarding all the monuments in honour of the fascist victory and its regime, I think we need to give them a different sense, radically different to the one they have. This is the only country in the world where violence is honoured with monuments like this,” said one man.

The cemetery, or “valley of heroes” has also proven to be an annual focal point for supporters of the Franco era, and there have been repeated calls from some quarters for its symbolism and historical content to be modified and made less partisan.

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