Europe

Spanish dictator Franco names to go from Madrid streets

  • 7 July 2015
  • From the section Europe
Gen Franco on a horse
Image caption Gen Franco's dictatorship came to an end in 1975

The new left-wing council in the Spanish capital Madrid has said it plans to remove all names relating to Gen Francisco Franco's dictatorship in streets and squares.

Many streets were renamed under a 2007 "historical memory" law on replacing symbols of Franco's 1939-75 rule.

But some 167 streets are still named after regime figures.

Spain's new left-wing mayor, Manuela Carmena, was an anti-Franco lawyer in the later years of the dictatorship.

She took over in Madrid after years of centre-right Popular Party rule. Her predecessor, Ana Botella, was among 38 mayors accused by a human rights lawyer earlier this year of dragging their feet removing symbols of Franco's rule.

Image caption Franco had the Arco de la Victoria erected as a tribute to his Nationalist army's victory over Republicans

Although the Madrid council spokeswoman admitted there was "no concrete plan" to start changing street names, she said it would be carried out in co-ordination with local districts and civil society groups.

Among the streets highlighted by Spanish media are the street of the Fallen of the Blue Division, a unit that served with the Nazis during World War Two, and Arriba Espana square, which refers to Spain's old fascist Falange party.

Several vestiges of Franco's dictatorship remain on historic buildings in Madrid, including a victory arch at one of the entrances to the city, several defence buildings and the El Pardo and Santa Cruz palaces.

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