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Franco foundation calls for new ‘uprising’ in Spain

Far-right organization protests against removal of dictator’s remains from Valley of the Fallen

 

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19 July 2018 11:38 AM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Francisco Franco National Foundation, an organisation that promotes a positive image of the deceased fascist Spanish dictator, has called for a new “uprising.” Franco was one of the Spanish army generals who rebelled against the Second Republic and its democratic government in 1936, which led to the Civil War and ultimately the Franco dictatorship that lasted for 40 years.

“On July 18, 1936, more than half of Spain rose up in arms to defend the integrity of our Fatherland and the Christian roots of our nation before the imminent communist revolution that threatened the very existence of Spain,” said the foundation in a statement on Wednesday, which also called for "a return of great ideals."

This comes at a time when many are questioning the legality of such far right organizations -a petition in 2017 calling for a ban on the Franco foundation attracted some 219,000 signatures.

The debate has become more intense in the past few days, after some reports suggested that this organization received public funding in the 2000s, used to refurbish its HQs.

Meanwhile, in Catalonia, a government initiative aims to make the removal of Francoist symbols in public spaces obligatory.

Active far-right groups

Far-right groups have been active recently in protest over a proposal by Spain’s new Socialist government to remove the dictator’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen, the monumental memorial to those who died in the Civil War. The Francisco Franco National Foundation, for example, has collected over 20,000 signatures against the proposal.

The foundation’s statement calls for support so that “one of the greatest uprisings in Spain is once again respected,” in order to “restore the greatness" of this country before it goes on to praise “those who gave their lives for the future" of Spain, "which today more than ever needs courageous people.”   

Yet, polls suggest that most people in Spain are in favor of removing Franco’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen. La Sexta TV channel, for example, this week published the results of a poll showing 56% of those surveyed in favor, as opposed to 33% against. Also, a petition in 2017 calling for a ban on the Franco foundation attracted some 219,000 signatures.

 

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  • Valle de los Caídos ('Valley of the Fallen') monument, viewed from the esplanade.

  • A group of protesters in the Valle de los Caídos monument on July 15, 2018 (by Reuters/Javier Barbancho)

  • Valle de los Caídos ('Valley of the Fallen') monument, viewed from the esplanade.
  • A group of protesters in the Valle de los Caídos monument on July 15, 2018 (by Reuters/Javier Barbancho)

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