Spaniards jailed for opposing General Francisco Franco's dictatorship will receive increased social-security benefits under new legislation...
MADRID — Spaniards jailed for opposing General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship will receive increased social-security benefits under new legislation.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist Party today won approval for the measures by 184 votes to 137 in the 350-seat national parliament.
The law also includes an official condemnation of the dictatorship and a plan to convert the Valley of the Fallen, Franco’s monument to the fascist war dead, into a center to promote democratic values.
The measure will increase annual benefits to Franco’s victims and their families by 9 percent to 591 million euros ($855 million), using government figures.
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The Franco regime, which ruled Spain from the end of the civil war in 1939 until the dictator’s death in 1975, banned unions and rival political parties, fired government workers who didn’t agree with its views and confiscated property from opponents.
Franco’s death squads killed about 200,000 Republicans in purges of captured territory during and after the war, British historian Antony Beevor said in his book “The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-39.”
As many as 38,000 of the regime’s victims still lie in unmarked mass graves around Spain, according to the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory.
The Republicans who opposed Franco themselves killed about 38,000 opponents, targeting priests and nuns and burning churches, according to Beevor’s book.
A 1977 amnesty law passed by Spain’s first democratic government gave immunity to members of Franco’s regime.