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Barcelona calls for Francisco Franco Foundation to be banned

Plans by organization glorifying former dictator to open offices in city sparks outrage among local parties

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20 December 2018 02:27 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Barcelona's city council has called on the authorities in Madrid to ban the Francisco Franco Foundation, following plans by the association that glorifies Spain’s former dictator to open offices in the Catalan capital.

The announcement by the Madrid-based foundation sparked outrage among parties in the city council, including the ruling Barcelona en Comú, headed by mayor Ada Colau, pro-independence Esquerra, PDeCAT, and CUP, as well as the Socialists.

In a press conference on Wednesday, deputy mayor Jaume Asens said the motion to ban the foundation will be presented on Friday, and he warned that that the council would take the issue to court should the Spanish government reject the ban.

  • "[Banning the foundation] is a question of decency and democratic hygiene"

    Jaume Asens · Barcelona deputy mayor

Arguing that it would be illegal in other European states, Asens said banning the foundation "is a question of decency and democratic hygiene," while PDeCAT councilor Jordi Martí called the foundation a "political, historical and legal anomaly."

Speaking for some 30 historical memory groups, representative for the Association of Former Political Prisoners, Carles Vallejo, said that the Francisco Franco Foundation must not be allowed "to have a presence" in Barcelona.

Defending Franco legacy since 1976

The Francisco Franco Foundation was set up a year after the dictator's death in 1975 to promote a positive interpretation of his legacy. Franco's daughter, and his only child, Carmen Franco, headed the organization until her death in 2017.

In August, a decree from the Socialist government to remove Franco's remains from the Valley of the Fallen mausoleum passed in the Spanish parliament. The foundation responded by collecting 24,000 signatures opposing the proposal.

Franco came to power following a military uprising in 1936 against the democratically elected government. His coup d’état triggered the Spanish Civil War, which left around half a million people dead.

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  • Dictator Francisco Franco visits Barcelona in 1942 (by Carlos Pérez de Rozas)

  • Dictator Francisco Franco visits Barcelona in 1942 (by Carlos Pérez de Rozas)