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Pro-Fascist Demonstrations at Franco's Tomb
Posted on 16/07/2018

NewSpain

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Around 1,000 people gather at Franco's Tomb for Protests

A far-right extremist group held a mass inside the large basilica.

A far-right extremist group held a mass inside the large basilica.
David Herraez/123RF

Around 1,000 people protested the planned removal of former dictator Francisco Franco's remains at the Valley of the Fallen near Madrid on Sunday.

A far-right extremist group held a mass inside the large basilica, calling it a "pilgrimage" to resist "the plunder" of Franco's grave by the new socialist government.

Reports stated that protesters sang the fascist Falange party song "Cara al Sol". The founder of Falange, Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, is also buried at the Valley of the Fallen. Many of the protesters carried Francoist flags and performed fascist salutes.

The new socialist government of Spain wishes to move the body, citing the tomb as a "divisive symbol" for Spain.

The Valley of the Fallen (Valle de los Caidos) was built by Franco after the Spanish Civil War and houses the bodies of Nationalist and Republican victims of the war that lasted from 1936-1939. Franco himself ruled from 1939-1975.

The tomb's association with Franco and the fascist dictatorship that controlled the country causes many to see it as a monument to Franco's fascist regime and the victory of the Nationalists over the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War, not as a symbol of unity.

Franco's descendants oppose the move of his remains, but the new government wants to turn the site into a "memorial to the victims of fascism". No date has yet been set for the removal of the remains.

Earlier this year, work began to exhume the bodies of two Republicans who were executed under Franco's regime and two Nationalist soldiers.