Madrid plans to exhume Franco's remains

The huge mausoleum for General Franco is a thorn in the side of the new Spanish government. It wants to move the remains of the man who ruled over Spain with an iron fist from 1939 to 1975. Spain could no longer allow itself symbols that divide the nation, Prime Minister Sánchez said. Can the exhumation bring Spanish society together?

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El País (ES) /

Don't open up the wrong wounds

The digging up of Franco's remains is dividing Spanish society, political scientist Victor Lapuente complains in El País:

“The exhumation of Franco is opening up old wounds. This is not a bad thing. The problem is that it has opened up the wrong wounds, the ones that divide society: those that revive the memories of the damage caused by the 'others'. And not the memory of the errors committed by 'our people', which is the first step towards genuine national reconciliation. That was the great achievement of the transition. ... Now it's the opposite. Instead of arguing with our people in order to seek cohesion with the others, we are arguing with the others to strengthen our own cohesion.”

The Guardian (GB) /

A milestone for Spain's democracy

Exhuming the ex-dictator is the right thing to do, The Guardian writes:

“Pointlessly refighting old wars has no value. But exhuming Franco is a necessary step in the final stages of Spain's historic journey away from authoritarian violence towards enduring democracy. Mr Sánchez is taking a political risk. But this decision is not just about bringing justice to the families of those who suffered under and because of Franco, important though that it is. It is about asserting the vibrancy of a more pluralist Spain in a more pluralist Europe. It is about the present, not the past.”