Spain pledges millions to recognise Franco victims

28th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 July 2006, MADRID – The Spanish government has earmarked EUR 60 million in pensions, compensation and recognition schemes for victims of the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship.

28 July 2006

MADRID – The Spanish government has earmarked EUR 60 million in pensions, compensation and recognition schemes for victims of the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship.

On Friday, deputy prime minister Maria Fernandez de la Vega announced the budget as she unveiled the final draft of a proposed law designed to acknowledge the suffering of those who were persecuted under almost 40 years of military rule between 1939 until Franco's death in 1975.

The law will finally be titled "Law to recognise and increase rights and establish measures in favour of those who suffered persecution during the Civil War and the dictatorship".

Victims and family members of victims will be able to ask for a public declaration if a commission confirms they suffered persecution during the war or the dictatorship.

The law also obliges public authorities to facilitate the work of families who want to find, identify and exhume the remains of those shot or murdered and give them a proper burial.

Francoist symbols and public monuments to the dictatorship are also to be removed under the law, which also sets out a specific regime governing the use of the Valley of the Fallen, the temple Franco had built for his movement with the slave labour of defeated Republicans.

The law has taken one-and-a-half years to prepare, with around 40 associations consulted and the petitions contained in 15,000 letters to the government all considered.

The government has finally decided against an earlier proposal that the law should state that laws passed during Franco’s regime were illegitimate.

Spain is the only European country which never overturned laws made during a military dictatorship.

The decision not to overturn the Franco laws could see the law criticised by victims groups and other political parties.

Equally, the conservative PP opposition has already condemned the concept behind all De Vega’s proposals, claiming they will reopen scars and that they are an attempt to rewrite history.

De la Vega, however, insisted that the law can help Spain heal scars and come to terms with its past.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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