Madrid to drop Franco-era names of streets and plazas, honoring victims of terrorism, rights abuses

Madrid's streets and plazas with Franco-era slogans and names to be changed in coming months. Photo: Zipi / EFE via 20 Minutos
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• Conservative PP only party against move to turn page on Franco era •

The Madrid municipal council has voted to approve a measure advanced by centre-right Ciudadanos party to rename 30 streets and plazas in the capital city, substituting names honoring victims of terrorism and human rights abuses both during and after the Spanish Civil War and 40 years of dictatorship under Gen. Francisco Franco that followed.

The measure, which received votes in favor from all parties except the conservative Popular Party (PP), will drop current names containing pro-Franco slogans or military heroes of Franco’s Nationalist forces in the 1936-39 civil war and replace them with names that will include the former anarcho-syndicalist leader and mayor of Madrid in 1939, Melchor Rodríguez, who was exiled from Spain following Franco’s victory.

The new street names will also include victims of the terrorist bombings by Spanish Basque separatist group ETA, as well as victims of the 2004 train bombings at Madrid’s Atocha station carried out by radical Islamists professing loyalty to Al Qaeda.

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