Spain to dissolve Francisco Franco Foundation

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Francisco Franco Foundation

The Ministry of Culture has announced the initiation of the procedure to dissolve the Fundación Francisco Franco. This decision has been made because the glorification of Francoism and the encouragement of hatred or violence against the victims of the dictatorship are contrary to the public interest, which foundations are required to uphold.

The final decision will depend on a judicial ruling, requiring reports from the Secretary of State for Democratic Memory, the Register of Foundations, and the General Council of the State.

Initial steps

This action is in compliance with the Law on Democratic Memory. In a press release, the ministry stated the initial steps are being taken to justify the commencement of the procedure. Minister Ernest Urtasun shared a video on social media announcing this procedure. He referred to the law, stating that “there is reason for dissolution when foundations do not pursue the public interest or carry out activities contrary to it.”

The Ministry of Culture had already announced plans to dissolve the foundation in April. However, the foundation made various attempts to circumvent the law. The Minister of Territorial Policy and Democratic Memory, Ángel Víctor Torres, stated at the time that this action would also include other foundations that defend the dictator or glorify Francoism. Spain remains unique in Europe for having organisations that glorify fascism. This includes the Fundación José Antonio Primo de Rivera and the Fundación Blas Piñar.

Three-phase dissolution process

The Ministry of Culture’s procedure will be conducted in three phases. First, reports will be requested from the Secretary of State for Democratic Memory and the Register of Foundations. Then, the formal initiation of the procedure will follow, informing the foundation and opening a period for objections. In the third and final phase, a report from the General Council of the State will be requested. Based on this report, the ministry will decide to legally establish the dissolution. Ultimately, a judge will make the final decision on the dissolution.

Activities of the Francisco Franco Foundation

The Fundación Francisco Franco has previously focused on legal actions to undo government measures in line with memory laws. In 2017, the foundation opposed the municipality of Madrid’s changes to street names. The Supreme Court limited this attempt to just two streets explicitly referring to the dictator.

Last year, the foundation filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Defence to restore the name of the Batallón Bandera Comandante Franco. The organisation has long functioned as a lobby glorifying the dictator and fighting against historical memory. It has also opposed the renaming of a village in Soria that honoured General Yagüe, known as the ‘Butcher of Badajoz’ for his bloody attacks during the Spanish Civil War.

A step forward in democratic memory

With the initiation of this dissolution procedure, Spain takes a significant step in the fight against the glorification of fascism and the promotion of democratic memory.

Also read: Judge in Madrid revokes license to excavate Franco victims

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