IN OCTOBER 2019, the Spanish government finally moved the body of former dictator Francisco Franco from the Valley of the Fallen monument, transferring the remains to the El Pardo-Mingorrubio municipal cemetery in Madrid. Depending on which side of the political spectrum Spaniards are on, the move was either long overdue or an outrage that was dragging up the country’s past.
This week it has emerged that while Franco may no longer be buried in a resting place that is administered by the Spanish state, the government is still having to fork out around €10,000 a year for the upkeep of the pantheon where the military general now lies.
That’s according to a response made by the Spanish government to an information request by a left-wing senator, and to which news agency Europa Press has had access.
The public coffers are paying out €9,225.90 a year for security, management and cleaning services at El Pardo-Mingorrubio, which works out at just under €830 a month.
Of this amount, most is going to security, at a total cost of €8,569.44, or €714.12 a month.
The decision to remove Franco’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen monument was approved by leftist parties in Spain’s Congress of Deputies, with abstentions from right-wing groups such as the Popular Party.
Pedro Sanchez, currently the Socialist Party Prime Minister but at the time of the exhumation a caretaker prime minister, had pledged to do away with what had been described as an international anomaly by United Nations rapporteurs.
Franco’s burial site at the Valley of the Fallen drew tourists and sympathisers of the far right. The monument, which has recently been renamed the Valley of Cuelgamuros as part of a new historical memory law, also contains the remains of nearly 34,000 victims of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).
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- Exhumations of Republican soldiers to restart at Spain’s Civil War ‘monument’ after legal appeals from right-wing groups flounder
- Spain’s government to strip Franco and nine other figures from the regime of medals