Wednesday, June 29

The Government refers to a subsequent project the decision on the Cross of the Valley of the Fallen




The Government has approved today in the Council of Ministers the Draft of the Democratic Memory Law, opening with this procedure the way for its parliamentary processing in the Congress of Deputies where the new Minister of the Presidency, Felix BolañosHe has said that he is open to modifying the norm in order to move it forward.

The skeleton of the project is essentially the same as the one that was approved last September and is therefore the last legacy of Carmen Calvo at the head of this department. The Government has incorporated some modifications based on the mandatory reports, such as that of the General Council of the Judiciary, which according to Bolaños “have improved the Draft Bill.”

Specifically, a new legal formula in the drafting which enables ban the Valle de los Caídos Foundation and advance the dissolution of Francisco Franco and any organization that can exalt the Francoist repression. The new approach to the September text heeds the suggestions of the judges’ body of power.

In the fifth additional provision of the first draft, “the apology of Francoism and the direct or indirect incitement to hatred or violence against the victims of the coup, the war or the Franco regime” was included as a reason for the suspension of foundations. The CGPJ warned at that time that “without the additional requirement of belittling or humiliating the victims,” ​​this exaltation of the Franco regime could only be an expression of ideas. Thus, the Government added that element to the text approved today.

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The Executive highlights that this will be the first law in which “the coup d’état of 1936 and the subsequent dictatorship, the blackest period in the contemporary history of Spain, is expressly condemned and repudiated.”

Keys to the law

Another key is the central role of the State in the tasks of recovering the bodies. The search for missing persons will be the “responsibility” of the State: “We want thousands of families who are searching to know that they have the Government in that mission,” said Bolaños.

A democratic Memory Room Prosecutor’s Office is created that “will promote investigations into human rights violations.” Although at this point, Bolaños has recognized the “limitations” established in the Penal Code regarding the prescription of crimes and the non-retroactivity of criminal regulations.

The law contemplates the resignification of the Valley of the Fallen. Among which stands out a project of exhumations. “There can be no body of any of the protagonists in a preponderant place,” said Bolaños. This puts the remains of José Antonio Primo de Rivera in the center. The Minister of the Presidency has confirmed that they will have to be exhumed. And he has promised to do so in dialogue with the family.

This approach to resignification is still abstract. Bolaños has suggested that it is a «general framework», but that ‘a posteriori’ it will be necessary to propose a concrete project in which «to make decisions». And here comes the decision about what to do with the great cross presiding over the place. The government has not shown signs of having yet decided what to do about it.

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