The Socialist party (PSOE) President Pedro Sanchez hopes to make it a criminal offence to glorify former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, the heroes of his regime and the military rebellion that brought him to power in 1939, under new legislation it plans to introduce into Congress in the coming weeks.
Adriana Lastra, the PSOE spokesperson in Congress, told reporters during a Forum Europa weekly press briefing in Madrid on Monday that the government intends to take its removal of Franco’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen monument last year one step further, by legislating legal sanctions against individuals or groups that glorify the former dictator or the ideology of the regime he led for more than 35 years until his death in 1975.
Lastra told reporters at the briefing that the government intends to finally make exaltation of the Franco dictatorship a crime by reforming Spain’s penal code during the current legislature, “because in a democracy you cannot pay homage to dictators or tyrants”.
If passed by a majority of Spain’s Congress, the criminalization of glorification of Franco or his dictatorial regime would follow the lead of Germany, where since the end of the Second World War any exaltation of Adolph Hitler, the Nazi party or Nazi ideology has been illegal.
In addition to making glorification of Franquismo illegal, Lastra said that the Socialists will also introduce legislation during the current session to exhume the victims of Franco’s regime who still lie in mass graves and to remove Franco-era symbols, monuments and placards that still remain in public places across Spain.
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