Spain's new Socialist government is determined to remove the remains of Francisco Franco from a vast mausoleum near Madrid and turn it into a place of "reconciliation."
"We don't have a date yet, but the government will do it," Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said late Monday during his first television interview since being sworn in on June 2 after toppling his conservative predecessor Mariano Rajoy in a confidence vote. He recalled that a non-binding motion approved last year in parliament called for Franco's remains to be exhumed from the massive Valley of the Fallen mausoleum some 50 kilometers northwest of Madrid and the site turned into a "memorial of the victims of fascism."
"Spain can't allow symbols that divide Spaniards. Something that is unimaginable in Germany or Italy, countries that also suffered fascist dictatorships, should also not be imaginable in our country," Sanchez added.
Earlier on Monday Socialist party spokesman Oscar Puente said the mausoleum should be transformed into a "place of reconciliation, of memory, for all Spaniards, and not of apology for the dictatorship."
Rajoy's Popular Party, a successor to the Popular Alliance founded in 1976 by former Franco ministers, accuses the Socialists of needlessly raking over the past. It opposed attempts to exhume Franco's remains when it was in power.
"The Socialist party has accustomed us to leading these cultural battles" which "do nothing to help coexistence," said Andrea Levy, a top Popular Part official.
Franco ruled Spain with an iron fist from the end of the country's 1936-39 civil war until his death in 1975, when he was buried inside a basilica drilled into the side of a mountain at the Valley of the Fallen, one of Europe's largest mass graves.
Built by Franco's regime between 1941 and 1959, in part by the forced labor of political prisoners, in the granite mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama, the monument holds the remains of more than 30,000 dead from both sides of the civil war, which was triggered by Franco's rebellion against an elected Republican government.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.