Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain
in the Autumn for a month or so

'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Spain and the unresolved aftermath of Franco

(Please see UPDATE at end)

Newsweek has an interesting article about the still unresolved rivalries and bitternesses remaining from the era of rule by Franco, which ended with his death in 1975. The current Socialist government, soon after coming to power in 2005, created a commission to look into measures which might help the country to move on, but the proposal which flowed from this to enact a 'law of historical memory' has itself created its own controversy, with the left saying the law does not go far enough and the right saying the whole project is unnecessary and divisive. The law needs to be passed by 1st November, but is thought likely to remain in abeyance and therefore be null and void. However, what cannot be gainsaid is the seemingly inexorable growth in demands for increased regional autonomy throughout the country, and not only in areas such as Catalonia and the Basque Country, paradoxically perhaps fuelled by Franco's efforts to dilute cultural and linguistic differences by directing investment to those areas. This has resulted in them becoming stronger economically than the Spanish geographic average without in any way diminishing their basic desires for increased local powers. Next Spring's electoral campaigns will certainly not be unaffected by these trends.

UPDATE: (Monday 8OCT07 21.27 BST) AP is reporting that the governing Socialist party has today reached an agreement with several of the smaller parties (i.e. not the PP) to allow the legislation to be passed. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

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