THE introduction of a law granting financial compensation to victims of General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship could be delayed following calls for it to cover victims of the Republican forces.
Officials from the CiU – the Christian Democratic party that governed Catalunya between 1980 and 2003 – want the Law of Historical Memory to recognise “the abuses and arbitrary actions of the Republican forces, especially against Catalan nationalists and Catholic citizens.”
Politicians were swift in criticising CiU’s motion. Leader of the leftist Izquierda Union party, Gaspar Llamazares, said the Catalan party is “trying to supplant the [right-wing] Partido Popular (PP).”
“One thing is the excess of Republican legitimacy and another is the genocide waged by Franco,” he added.
Franco was one of the military leaders who organised the uprising against the democratically elected Republican government in 1936.
This has come as a blow to the socialist government of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, whose has until September 7 to agree on a deal with opponents of the flagship law if it is to be passed this legislation.
Critics of the law claim it criminalises the actions of the military uprising and subsequent government, headed by Franco until his death in 1975.
However, the Government has denied these accusations, stating the law does not seek to make distinctions between victims of the Nationalists and Republicans but to give a voice “to those who lost their right to speak after the war.”
In the years following the conflict, many thousands of Republicans were rounded up, killed and then dumped in mass graves. Many more were forced to flee the country.
The CiU move was welcomed by the PP, the party formed by former Franco government ministers, whose officials see this as a lack of support for the proposed law.