Spain’s right wing honours dictator Franco

The 38th anniversary of the death of Spain's fascist dictator Francisco Franco was marked by both right-wing and anti-fascist demonstrations in Spain on Saturday and Sunday. The legacy of the former leader continues to divide Spain.

Spain's right wing honours dictator Franco
Supporters of late Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco at the 38th anniversary of the dictator's death, at the Plaza de Oriente in Madrid on Sunday. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Up to 500 people representing the right wing of Spanish politics gathered outside the Royal Palace in Madrid on Sunday to mark the anniversary of the death of Franco, who ruled Spain from the end of the country's bloody civil war in 1939 until his death on November 20th 1975.

The group included members of Spain's fascist Falange party, the Catholic group Movimiento Católico Español, and the nationalist group the Nudo Patriota Español (Spanish Knot).

Speaking during the two-hour demonstration, Spanish Knot president Eduardo Arias said Spain needed to cut immigration because of the country's high unemployment.

Attendees at the event jeered the king, calling him a traitor while also mocking members of Spain's ruling conservative Popular Party party and the opposition socialist PSOE party.

They also performed fascist salutes and sold right-wing memorabilia.

On Saturday, meanwhile, anti-fascist protesters gathered at the El Valle de los Caídos, the giant mausoleum just outside Madrid where Franco is buried.

The protesters called the rally "to denounce the maintaining of the Valley of the Fallen as a mausoleum for Franco and a place of pilgrimage for international fascism", they said in a statement.

The period of Franco's rule remains highly controversial in Spain with many saying the left-wing victims of the 1936–1939 civil war and the four decades of dictatorship that followed have never received justice.

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