Franco's symbols are still visible in some streets in Catalonia
More than 30 years after the end of the fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco, some towns have yet to remove the symbols that celebrated the victory of the general back in 1939. In Tortosa, the council is following procedures to change the name of a neighbourhood that refers to the day that the fascists conquered the town.
Tortosa (ACN).- On January 13th 1939, the fascist troops arrived in the town of Tortosa, in South Catalonia. The so-called nationalist army, lead by General Francisco Franco, conquered Catalonia in one of the last chapters of the bloody and cruel Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). More than 70 years later, Tortosa still has a neighbourhood named in reference to the day that the troops arrived there, and some other statues and symbols of the dictatorship. Now, the council is following procedures to change the name of the '13 January' neighbourhood to 'Temple'.
The council agreed back in 1981 to change the name of the neighbourhood, but the local political parties were unable to decide on a strategy to do this. However, citizens have recently urged the local councillors to change the name and the mayor, Ferran Bel, has finally initiated the process to give a democratic name to the neighbourhood.
The case of Tortosa is not the only one in Catalonia or in Spain. Many towns and cities have been following similar procedures in the last few years to remove all fascist symbols and statues from their streets. The process is not always easy, as some right-wing political sectors consider it unnecessary to 'look to the past'. However, as democracy takes hold in the country and older generations pass away, citizens are putting pressure on authorities to remove all monuments that supported the fascist dictatorship.