Spain: a law decreeing democratic remembrance

The Spanish government has submitted a bill on "democratic memory" to parliament. It provides for a ban on the glorification of the military coup of 1936, the subsequent civil war and the forty-year Franco dictatorship, which, among other things, could mean the closure of the Valle de los Caídos memorial. In addition, the topic of democratic memory is to become a fixed part of the school curriculum.

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El Mundo (ES) /

Between superfluous and toxic

This law fuels needless strife, El Mundo frets:

“The law is pure nonsense, somewhere between superfluous and toxic, because it's about artificially keeping the hostilities of the civil war alive in society by removing it from historical studies. Writing 'democratic memory' into the school curriculum is superfluous because history is already taught in school. Unless the goal is indoctrination.”

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

More necessary than ever

El Periódico de Catalunya, however, sees an urgent need for action:

“The conservatives criticise the law as outdated - as a return to the past - and as revanchist. But the rise of the far right and the increasingly brazen manifestations in defence of the dictatorship have created a mood that makes such a law necessary 85 years after the coup d'état of 1936. The latest example is the statements by ex-minister Ignacio Camuñas of the UCD [the party alliance from 1977 to 1981 that included Spain's first democratically elected prime minister], who claimed in the presence of a passive Pablo Casado that there was no coup d'état in July 1936 and that the government of the Second Republic [1931-1939] was to blame for the civil war.”