Spanish women victims of Franco to get compensation

21st September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Many Spanish women who suffered abuse under dictator Francisco Franco can now receive compensation of 1,800 euros each, under a decree passed by the government of southern Andalucia on Tuesday.

It is a way to pay a "moral debt" to these women, who suffered harassment "often for the simple fact of being part of families who were victims of Franco," said Luis Pizarro, the justice minister in the autonomous Andalucian government.

The government decree said the 1,800 euros (2,600 dollars) compensation covers "harassment aimed specifically at women, such a shaving (of the head), the ingestion of castor oil or the exposure to public mockery," it said.

The Socialist-led Andalucian government voted in 2001 to pay compensation to people imprisoned in concentration camps during Spain's 1936-39 Civil War and subsequent dictatorship of General Franco, which lasted until his death in 1975.

A total of 9.5 million euros was paid to 2,480 people, only 85 of them women.

The latest decree aims to cover "moral reparations and the recognition of the role (of women) in the construction of the current democratic society", the decree said.

The compensation covers the period 1936 to 1950, when the harassment was at its worst.

Historians have estimated that half a million people were killed during the civil war sparked by Franco's insurgency against the democratically elected left-wing Republican government.

A brutal wave of repression followed the Nationalists' victory as Franco sought to consolidate power.

The Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in 2007 passed the "Law of Historical Memory" which seeks to restore the honour of Franco's victims through measures such as granting them special certificates and removing Francoist symbols from public places.

© 2010 AFP

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