Thursday, December 2

These are the reasons that confront the Government and ERC and that lead to the failure of the memory law

Detail of the basilica of the Valley of the Fallen.

Detail of the basilica of the Valley of the Fallen.

The Government of Pedro Sánchez, in the previous legislature, exhumed Franco’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen by helicopter. Not even that satisfied United Podemos or ERC at all, who criticized that there was a staging of a state funeral (Pablo Iglesias) or that there was an exaltation of Francoism (Esquerra).

The Government of Sánchez, in which the “purple” formation is located, has activated a new democratic memory law in this legislature. Nor has harmony reigned; Rather the complete opposite. In fact, it is the project that has widened the distance of the PSOE the most with its coalition partner and with its main parliamentary ally. This is not an issue with which socialists can easily build bridges..

The obvious demonstration, in case there were doubts, occurred this Wednesday when the groups registered their amendments to the democratic memory bill. The government partners were able to agree on them, but how little the peace has lasted. One day. The Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños has made it clear that with his proposal on the crimes of the Franco regime, the Amnesty Law will not change anything. Contrast this blow of realism, or skepticism, with the enthusiasm of United We Can. Meanwhile, ERC spokesman Gabriel Rufián is freaking out. “Smoke”, has said that it is that proposal.

Without the Catalan formation, the support mattress has been pierced. Time will tell if it can be sewn. Only the PNV seems to walk the path of agreement, but its six deputies are not enough. Cs, through Edmundo Bal, has even asked the Government not to call them. There is nothing to talk about here.

These are the pitfalls that have left the democratic memory bill at the edge of the abyss:

Judge or not the crimes of the Franco regime

The Government partners propose an amendment to modify article 2 of the memory norm so that the 1977 Amnesty Law adapts to International Humanitarian Law and makes the crimes committed by the Franco regime imprescriptible and not amnesty. The Secretary of State for the 2030 Agenda, Enrique Santiago, admitted at a press conference that the scope of the modification is limited, since most of those who could commit crimes have already died. However, according to his words, it is justice that in Spain the end of that impunity is finally established.

Bolaños has stressed that the amendment will not generate draft effects. It is so interpretive that even various jurists agree on that repercussion effect rather bounded.

The differences here, between PSOE and United We Can, have resonated because they are the parties that make up the Government. They have left small the discrepancy of ERC, which advocates the repeal of the Amnesty Law.

Right to financial reparation

Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya registered an amendment to the entire Executive bill two months ago. Since then there have been no approaches. Sources of the independence party point out that two weeks ago, despite the clashes, they sent the PSOE a document with more than a dozen amendments, considered a priority by the management of Rufián’s group. There has been no reply.

Rufián himself, when he saw this Wednesday that his socialist counterpart, Héctor Gómez, came out at a press conference to praise some budget agreements and the proposals on democratic memory, rushed to call another conference and denounce that they were selling “smoke”.

Because, in addition to swelling the importance of that petition about the Amnesty Law, the PSOE pointed to a mechanism of economic reparation to the victims that was born hollow, in interpretation of ERC. Without changing article 5.4 of the project, not a single effective restitution system can be activated.

Illegality of the Franco regime

Esquerra does advocate changing said article, so that the declaration of nullity includes the right to economic reparation. In addition, requests to institutionalize the Franco regime as illegal.

In general, the independentistas are more forceful in their amendments. For example, in which article 31 would vary, it proposes the opening of investigations into seizures and an audit of the looted property and corresponding sanctions. In 12 months will be the result, and this will lead to the restitution of assets to the victims, or where appropriate, to the heirs. The PSOE, however, stresses that “possible avenues of compensation” will be drawn.

The Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños. DAVID CASTRO

Many similarities, but not enough

It is curious that spirits are so bitter when the PSOE-UP and ERC amendments show several coincidences. For example, creating a Prosecutor’s office about it or a State DNA Bank of the victims. Also the bet to invalidate all noble titles of the Franco regime or to include in the textbooks contents that elevate the democratic memory. They also agree that the Valley of the Fallen is called the Valley of Cuelgamuros or that the foundations or associations that defend Francoism are extinguished.

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