Controversial law tries to grant Franco's victim justice

14th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

14 December 2006, MADRID — A law to grant justice to the victims of former dictator General Francisco Franco received its first airing in parliament on Thursday.

14 December 2006

MADRID — A law to grant justice to the victims of former dictator General Francisco Franco received its first airing in parliament on Thursday.

The deputy prime minister, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, called the new law an "heir to the spirit of the Transition".

The Transition was the period after Franco's death in 1975, when Spain established democracy again for the first time in over 40 years.

The controversial Law of Historical Memory seeks to provide some compensation to victims or their families of the dictator.

It will grant financial compensation to victims in the form of one-off payments or pensions.

Local authorities will have to help people to find their relatives bodies, thousands of whom were executed and dumped in mass graves around the country.

Historians believe as many as 30,000 people were murdered by Franco.

Franco's imposing burial chamber, the Valley of the Fallen, is also to be converted, possibly to become a museum or educational centre to the Civil War and the period of Francoism.

Public symbols of Franco's dictatorship, like statues or demonstrations, are to be withdrawn.

The government also wants to grant 'moral compensation' to victims who were condemned by kangaroo courts during Franco's regime. It will be decided on an individual basis.

But an amendment to overturn all these courts decisions was defeated.

Victims groups have condemned the law as not going far enough while the conservative opposition Popular Party said it is raking over the past.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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