Historical memory
Politics 29/06/2022

EH Bildu saves the Spanish government's historical memory bill

Party agrees with the government to declare Franco's courts "illegal and illegitimate"

2 min
Mertxe Aizpurúa, during the investiture session.

MadridEH Bildu will save the Spanish government's law of democratic memory. The party announced yesterday an agreement to support the Socialists' bill, which they want to pass at the Spanish parliament's extraordinary plenary session on July 11. EH Bildu has agreed with the state executive to declare Francoist courts "illegal and illegitimate" and all their resolutions and sentences void. Their support will be sufficient for the law to be passed, since the PNV, the PDECat, Más País and Compromís have also announced they will vote in favour. The regulation, therefore, could go ahead without ERC's support.

ERC is still negotiating with the Spanish executive and, for the moment, they have not reached an agreement. Junts, on the other hand, has opposed the new bill as it believes there is no "paradigm shift with the 2007 law". They also regret the "people of Catalonia" are not considered a victim of Franco's regime.

One of the points that PSOE agreed with Unidas Podemos was a modification of the 1977 amnesty law to allow criminal proceedings to investigate the crimes of Franco's regime, as Podemos defends. However, the Minister of the Presidency, the Socialist Félix Bolaños, clarified that the reform did not change "anything in the legal system". ERC already warned that the planned change was insufficient and assured that it would only be possible to judge Francoism's crimes if the points of the 1977 law which covered crimes committed by civil servants and public order officers were repealed. PSOE and Unidas Podemos's proposal will in the end remain intact. EH Bildu, however, has forced the creation of an independent committee to clarify human rights violations during Franco's regime. The committee will draw up a report with recommendations for the recognition and reparation of the victims.

The scope of repression up to 1983

Extending the time limit on Francoist repression was also one of the debates that had been put on the table, and EH Bildu spokesperson Mertxe Aizpurua explained that they have agreed with the Spanish executive to extend this period until December 31, 1983. That is to say, people who suffered the state repression until that year will be considered victims of Franco's regime. EH Bildu has also managed to turn the mountain pass of San Cristóbal de Navarra, where there was a massive escape of antifascist prisoners, into a memorial; and the Palace of La Cumbre to be handed over to the City Council of San Sebastian. This is the place where the state sponsored death squads tortured suspected ETA members José Antonio Lasa and José Ignacio Zabala, before driving them to Alicante and executing them. "These are two issues of great symbolism for the Basque citizenship", Aizpurua pointed out in a press conference.

stats