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Madrid to rename Francoist streets after terrorism victims

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Madrid to rename Francoist streets after terrorism victims
General Francisco Franco. Photo: AFP
15:34 CET+01:00
Forty years after the Spanish dictator's death, streets honouring figures of the Franco-era will be renamed after the victims of terrorism.

Madrid City Council has approved plans to name streets and plazas formally dedicated to Spanish dictator Francisco Franco and his supporters after victims of terrorism.

The plan means that forty years after the death of the dictator who ruled Spain from 1939 – 1975, all traces of him and his generals will finally be removed from the streets of the Spanish capital.

Spain’s conservative Popular Party (PP) abstained from voting on the proposal, which was originally put forward by one of Spain’s new young parties, Ciudadanos.

The PP wanted an extra clause in the proposal that said the streets would be dedicated to victims of terrorism "among others". 

"The streets of Madrid will always remember victims of terrorism. That Madrid will never forget is a victory for all Madrileños," tweeted Ciudadanos spokeswoman, Begoña Villacís. 

Madrid City Council, which is run by Ahora Madrid, a left-wing coalition, has promised in recent months to comply with the 2007 Historical Memory law, which included an official condemnation of the Franco regime as well as the removal of Francoist symbols from public buildings and spaces.

On December 22nd Madrid’s City Hall announced it would be changing 30 street names in the capital that were related to General Francisco Franco and his supporters.

Despite the law being passed eight years ago, Madrid’s conservative city council had still not removed all the Francoist symbols from the city before May’s local elections, which saw the Popular Party lose their 24-year rule of the city in favour of Podemos-backed left-wing mayor, Manuela Carmena.

Madrid’s councillor for Culture and Sport, Celia Mayer, told Spanish news agency Efe that the historical memory department of Madrid’s Complutense University was already working on the plans, which should be finalized "towards the end of April".

It is unclear at the moment whether the victims will include both those killed by Basque separatist group Eta and those killed in other terror attacks, including the 2004 Madrid train bombings, carried out by al-Qaeda. 

Some of the affected streets will include those named after some of Franco’s most infamous generals, including Calle General Yagüe, Avenida General Fanjul and Pasaje General Mola.

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