The Council of Ministers was due to approve measures yesterday (Thursday) to allow the exhumation of the remains of fascist dictator Francisco Franco from the purposebuilt mausoleum in the Valle de los Caídos.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said these were ‘some of the final administrative details’ needed to remove Franco’s body from the monument which is supposed to be a memorial to the dead of the Spanish Civil War, but only remembers those who fought for the Nationalist side. Thousands of Republican supporters were used as forced labour after the civil war ended in 1939 to excavate a vast chamber in the side of the valley were the monument is situated. Many of them died in the brutal conditions they worked under. The Valle de los Caídos has always been a rallying point for Franco’s supporters and many still pay homage to the dictator at the site. The Socialist (PSOE) government has vowed to ‘depoliticise’ the monument and ensure it remembers all the dead of the conflict. The Council of Ministers will ask Madrid regional government for a report which has to been produced within a month on sanitary-related aspects of the exhumation. They will then send their own guidelines to Madrid city hall so they can remove the dictator’s body. On Wednesday police in Terrassa, Barcelona arrested a security guard who stated on WhatsApp he was going to kill the PM in revenge for exhuming Franco’s remains. According to state news agency EFE, he is an expert marksman who had an arsenal of weapons in his home.