Spain condemns Franco's 40-year rule

Oct. 31, 2007 at 2:02 PM
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MADRID, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Spain's parliament formally condemned Wednesday the 40-year fascist dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco and called for a purge of its symbols.

The "Law of Historical Memory" requires local governments to fund efforts to unearth mass graves from Spain's 1936-39 Civil War, where an estimated 30,000 people were buried.

The bill orders public buildings to remove any statues, symbols or plaques relating to Franco's rule or his Falange nationalist movement, a BBC correspondent reported from Madrid.

It also nullifies all verdicts from thousands of summary military trials during Franco's regime.

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero made the bill's passage a government priority, as his grandfather was among those executed by Franco's forces.

The bill still requires passage by the senate, which is considered a formality, the report said.

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