By James Bryce
HE was responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and is arguably the most hated figure in Spanish history.
But Spain’s Royal Academy of History has painted Franco in a rather favourable light.
A new biography of Spain’s former dictator – which took 12 years and more than 6.5 million euros in taxpayers’ money to produce – has hit controversy.
The generally favourable tome of the dictator, written by 86-year-old Franco apologist Professor Luis Suarez, has caused outrage among Spaniards.
In particular, critics are furious that Suarez praises his ‘cold courage’ showed in the field of battle and that his regime was not totalitarian, merely ‘authoritarian’.
Critics have hit back, with one historian claiming that such entries are nothing more than Franco propaganda.
“It is not just serious to allow someone like this to write Franco’s entry,” said historian Julian Casanova. “It brings our whole profession into disrepute.”
It comes as any statues or references to the dictator have been removed from all public buildings and squares in Spain.