City of Madrid to remove 52 Franco-era street names

Caídos de la División Azul street, one of 52 Franco-era street names to be changed in Madrid. Photo: EFE via Público
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• Ahora Madrid, PSOE, Ciudadanos vote to remove signs glorifying Franco-era
• After tense debate, Partido Popular’s Madrid city councilors abstain from voting

The Madrid municipal council has voted to approve a recommendation presented by the city’s special Historical Memory commission that will see the removal of current signage on 52 of the capital city’s streets, plazas and other public places previously named to honor the right-wing military uprising that sparked Spain’s bloody 1936-399 Civil War or that glorify leading Nationalist figures or events of the war or heroes of the 36-year dictatorship under Gen. Francisco Franco that followed.

During a heated session before an unruly audience in the council chambers on Friday, the motion to remove the old signage and replace it with new signs honoring a broad range of individuals and groups associated with democracy, equality and human rights struggles in Spain was approved with the unanimous support of councilors from Mayor Manuela Carmena’s Ahora Madrid coalition, the Socialist party (PSOE) and centre-right Ciudadanos. Representatives of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) abstained on the vote.

The commission, formed last year at the behest of Mayor Carmena, developed the list in keeping with Spain’s 2007 Historical Memory law prohibiting the glorification in public places of Franco-era heroes, groups and events. The 2007 law only sets the criteria for removal of such signage, leaving it to local government’s across Spain to “take appropriate measures to remove shields, badges, plaques and other objects or mentions commemorating personal or collective exaltation of the military uprising, the Civil War and repression of the dictatorship.”

► Read More in Spanish at Público, El País and El Mundo …

► Read list of all 52 streets to be changed, here …

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