Spain Says It Will Exhume Franco’s Remains by October 25

MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Spain is to remove the remains of Francisco Franco from a grandiose state mausoleum by October 25, the government said Friday after a court overruled objections from the late dictator’s family. 

“By Oct. 25, the dictator’s remains will no longer be in the Valley of the Fallen,” Vice President Carmen Calvo told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting.

An undated file photo of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. After a tortuous judicial and public relations battle, Spain’s Socialist government has announced that Gen. Francisco Franco’s embalmed body will be relocated from a controversial shrine to a small public cemetery where the former dictator’s remains will lie along his deceased wife. (AP Photo/file)

The government would press ahead with the necessary technical and security decisions to allow both the exhumation of his remains and their reburial next to those of his wife in the family tomb at Mingorrubio El Pardo, a state cemetery 12 miles north of Madrid, she said. 

The family, which has tried several legal manuvres to block the process, would be informed “48 hours in advance” about the date and the time, with the process to be carried out with “the greatest discretion and the greatest respect”, she said. 

Franco, who ruled Spain with an iron fist following the end of the 1936-39 civil war, currently lies in an imposing basilica carved into a mountain in the Valley of the Fallen, 30 miles outside Madrid. 

The Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez has made transferring Franco’s remains a priority, saying Spain should not “continue to glorify” the dictator, whose mausoleum has attracted both tourists and rightwing sympathizers.

The plan has divided opinion in Spain, which is still conflicted over the dictatorship that ended with Franco’s death in 1975.

© Agence France-Presse

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