TWO people have been fined €4,000 each for exhibiting fascist symbols during a march in Valencia on October 12 last year.
It is the first time penalties of this kind have been handed down in Spain and could set a precedent for the future.
The sentence was enforced by the regional department for Participation, Transparency, Cooperation and Democratic Quality, based on conditions set out in the Valencian Democratic Memory Law.
This piece of legislation establishes that glorifying fascism is a very serious offence punished with fines of between €2,000 and €10,000.
The judge was shown photographic evidence that the accused were carrying pre-constitutional Spanish flags, bearing the eagle that was used during Franco’s reign, when they took part in a march organised by extreme-right political party España 2000.
According to the Generalitat, these symbols ‘undermine our democratic memory and the dignity of the victims’.
In their defence, the accused alleged that the flag with the San Juan eagle is not pre-constitutional because it was still used during the first three years following the approval of the Spanish Constitution in 1978, and that it is not anti-constitutional because the emblem appears on the Constitution document itself.
The allegations were rejected and the final sentence states that the various elements seen during the march, including ‘Nazi symbols, Falange flags, fascist salutes and torches, turned the demonstration into an act of promotion and public exaltation of the Franco dictatorship’.
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