Spain: new law on Franco crimes
The amended Democratic Memory Law passed by the Council of Ministers a year ago is to be presented for final approval by the Spanish Congress today, Thursday. The law bans glorification of the military coup of 1936 and of the ensuing civil war and the forty-year Franco dictatorship. Media from Spain’s left-wing spectrum welcome the step.
Bravest step since the beginning of democracy
For Hispanist Ian Gibson, the law testifies to the country's democratic maturity:
“If approved by Parliament, it will be one of the boldest and most constructive steps taken by post-constitutional Spain. ... It is also important that there be financial compensation for the families of the victims and that the Franco regime be declared criminal - what a proud moment for a democratic Spain now fully integrated into Europe! - and that the history of the civil war and the dictatorship be taught in schools. ... After so long a wait, after so many obstacles, it looks like Spain will now finally be able to walk through the world with its head held high.”
Right-wing parties still tied to Francoism
Socialist politician Manuel de la Rocha Rubí wonders in eldiario.es why the right is attacking the law so vehemently:
“For those on the right, this is not just another episode in the war against the government. Their resistance is also driven by the historical burden from which they have not yet freed themselves. ... The objective of the law is to deepen recognition of those who suffered persecution or violence during the civil war and Franco's dictatorship, based on the principles of truth, justice, reparation and the guarantee of non-repetition, as advocated by UN Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff in July 2014. ... A law that for the first time explicitly repudiates the military coup of July 1936 and Franco's dictatorship. ... I fear that this is what pains the right-wing opponents of the law.”