Eleventh-hour deal finds justice for Franco victims

9th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

9 October 2007, MADRID - AFP - Lawmakers agreed on a bill which would for the first time acknowledge the victims of Spain's 1936-39 civil war and ensuing right-wing military dictatorship, a spokesman for the ruling Socialists said.

9 October 2007

MADRID - AFP - Lawmakers agreed on a bill which would for the first time acknowledge the victims of Spain's 1936-39 civil war and ensuing right-wing military dictatorship, a spokesman for the ruling Socialists said.

After months of stalled talks, Diego Lopez Garrido said lawmakers had "reached a high degree of rapprochement on the basis and goals of the law" which still has some details to be worked out.

The draft law will not not void sentences handed down by special courts set up under dictator Francisco Franco, as demanded by the pro-independence Catalan ERC and the communist United Left parties, but will declare them "unjust" and "illegitimate," he said.

Lopez Garrido did not provide more details on the proposed law, which has been opposed by the conservative Popular Party on the grounds that it opens old wounds and is divisive.

Opinions on the civil war and its aftermath in Spain tend to be split along party lines.

Some 50,000 anti-Franco Republicans were sentenced to death between the end of the war and General Franco's death in 1975.

Tens of thousands of other opponents of his regime were thrown into jails.

For the sake of national reconciliation, Spain granted an amnesty for crimes committed under Franco's iron-fisted rule two years after his death and a new constitution in 1978 ushered in democratic rule.

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Subject: Spanish news

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