Franco's remains reburied - what comes next?
The corpse of the former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco has been moved under stringent security measures on Thursday. The remains were exhumed from a major monument near Madrid and reburied in a normal cemetery as the entire procedure was broadcast live on TV. But for commentators this is not the end of the affair.
Only ruins would be a fitting monument
The Frankfurter Rundschau thinks nothing of the idea of turning the Valley of the Fallen into a documentary centre or a monument to all victims of the Spanish Civil War:
“Even without Franco it remains a monument in honour of the dictator. It has no other function, and never had. It could and should now be closed and abandoned. Perhaps it could acquire a certain dignity as a ruin. ... The Valle de los Caídos is a monster. Only when it becomes a skeleton can it be a useful reminder of times that we have fortunately put behind us.”
Lenin's remains will have to wait
Unlike Spain with Franco, Russia is not yet ready to remove Lenin from his mausoleum, commentator Anton Orech of Echo of Moscow concludes:
“I believe that a symbolic relocation of the corpse should not be the goal, but a result. The point is not that the Red Square is home to the dead Ilyich, but that his ideas - Leninism, Stalinism, Soviet thinking - are still alive. A reburial would not change anything in this respect. Society would first have to be truly convinced that this man was no hero, that his ideas were wrong and didn't give the country a prosperous future but brought repression, suffering and hunger upon it. ... The Spaniards, although not unanimously, made this decision for themselves with a clear majority.”
Let's drink to this!
eldiario.es is elated:
“Will our children one day learn about the real history of Spain, rather than a false version that sugarcoats the Franco regime? Will we be able to prosecute those who deny or justify the crimes committed during the dictatorship? ... Too many questions without answers. They show how profoundly abnormal Spain is in terms of democracy, not only compared with Italy and Germany, but also with Argentina, Chile and even Cambodia. ... Today is a historic day. ... The putschist, fascist, genocidal war criminal and ally of Hitler and Mussolini no longer rests in his privileged place at Spain's largest monument. We have a long way to go, but let's drink to the hundreds of thousands of victims, to the men and women who fought against Francoism and cannot witness this day. No one can take this moment of happiness from us.”
This corpse is no good as campaign material
The prime minister has miscalculated if he's trying to boost his popularity with the move, La Razón explains:
“Pedro Sánchez can celebrate a small victory today, but despite the mobilisation of the public service media the figure of the former head of state, who died in 1975, has little influence on voters. The overwhelming majority of them (66.4 percent) had not even been born or were younger than 15 in 1975. ... Sánchez should not expect too much help from the corpse of the Caudillo: After today's somewhat morbid spectacle the average Spaniard will go back to taking no interest in an issue, namely the civil war and the dictatorship, that Spain has long since left behind and which should elicit nothing more than an ironic smile.”