25 Jul, 2009 @ 00:00
1 min read

Franco barred in Barbate

ONCE Francisco Franco’s favourite fishing port, today Barbate has removed all traces of the former dictator from its streets.

In an attempt to move away from its fascist past, it has renamed a total of 34 streets.

The town – which was officially named Barbate de Franco in the 1940s and became a popular summer retreat for the dictator – has got a grant of 5000 euros to remove and change the names.

This includes the removal of a window at the Town Hall, dedicated to “Francisco Franco, founder of Barbate”.
While the town was officially renamed in 1998, Spain’s Law of Historical Memory forbids the display of fascist symbols from public spaces and buildings, unless an argument can be made for its artistic or religious merit.

The law, passed in 2007, also forbids the organisation of events at Franco’s grave, assists the repatriation of Spaniards forced to flee under his regime and provides recognition for the victims of Franco during and after the Spanish Civil War.

Nearby, Tarifa has also followed a similar attempt to wipe clean reminders of this period of history.

The fascist symbol of an eagle set within a badge has been removed from the entrance to the old marine infantry barracks. It is the second symbol to be removed from the town.

In total 336 fascist symbols have been removed so far from military installations across the country.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. Cowards…… they were all with their arms in the air singing ‘Cara al Sol’ for 40 years…….and now all denial. i guess it is true then…… No Spaniards fought for Franco in the Spanish Civil War…. Franco won the war all by himself (and a couple of Germans and Italians blokes) with absolutely NO help from any Spaniards…. amazing!

  2. optimist, I lived quite a few years under Franco’s rule and I know/knew men who fought in the Spanish Civil War…. I believe I know alot more than most of you young ones that boast that they know so much about spain and its history (heaven forbid that you are a brit married to a spaniard……then you are an absolute expert on anything spanish!!!!). in my day, pledging loyalty when you didn’t want to …….was called cowardice………

  3. I thought that was called oppresion and dictatorship! Survival even.

    Of course the Spaniards are still bound by the “law of forgetting” A strange but very real law that was introduced so that Spain could move forwards towards a democracy without the dangerous phenomenom of finger pointing.

    In a war you take sides, make a stand for what you believe to be right. If you are on the losing side and survive, you still have to lead your life as normal as possible, and in the end it is YOU who has to live with the consequences of your actions.

  4. “in my day, pledging loyalty when you didn’t want to …….was called cowardice………” What day was that?

    You obviously don’t understand what ordinary people had to do to survive under Franco’s brutal, as Max says, “oppression and dictatorship”!

  5. Optimist……. that “day” long ago when men were men and not the sissy boys who have never been to war or know nothing beyond their mum’s skirt..

    you must be a ‘rojo’…….. China and Cuba will receive you with open arms…….no fear of “oppression or dictatorship” there…….oh no!

  6. I too had the experience of Spain (Catalunya)during the benevolent reign of Franco. I seem to remember that support for him was less than total. One of the problems of living under a dictatorship is that most bend under the yoke in preference to being broken. I presume Queen’s own is a military reference. I have not been to war (lucky)so I must be a sissy. It is nice to know that your oath of loyalty to support the cause of democracy still has that ring of tolerance and the acceptance of differing views.

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