Many civil war victims’ descendants claim nationality
About 40,000 descendants of people who fled Spain because of the 1936-39 civil war have applied for Spanish nationality since the start of the year.MADRID – Nearly 40,000 descendants of people who fled Spain during and after the 1936-39 civil war have applied for Spanish nationality since the start of the year, the justice ministry told AFP Wednesday.
The Spanish parliament voted in 2007 to rehabilitate victims of the right-wing dictatorship of General Francisco Franco and the civil war, giving them the possibility of reclaiming their ancestors' nationality.
A total of 39,134 people have done so since the end of last year, mainly from Latin America where a large number of exiled Republicans went, a spokesman for the ministry said.
The ministry said 10,010 foreigners had been granted citizenship so far and 13,696 other were about to get it.
The Spanish government estimates the number of people eligible under the law at 500,000 at the most. They have until December 27, 2010 to file applications.
Most of those forced into exile went to Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico and France.
The civil war was sparked by Franco's insurgency against the democratically elected Republican government. Nazi Germany and fascist Italy stepped in to help Franco, while the Soviet Union aided the Republican government along with volunteers from around the world who joined the so-called international brigades to fight fascism.
AFP / Expatica