Spain tries to strike Franco from history

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Thirty-two years after Franco died, all of Spain, including the church in the Valley of the Fallen, is about to be stripped of every symbol associated with the Spanish dictator and his Nationalist cause. Today, parliament in Madrid is expected to pass a controversial law that condemns Gen. Franco's dictatorship and honours his victims.

All statues, street signs and symbols associated with Gen. Franco and his Falange movement must be removed from public buildings.

Churches and private institutions with plaques commemorating the leader or those killed by the Republican government overthrown by Franco risk losing government funding if they refuse.

The new law also seeks to declare "illegitimate" the verdicts of the summary trials Franco's regime held for its opponents. That opens the doors for families of victims to seek redress in the courts and demand compensation. Children of Republicans forced into exile can even apply to regain Spanish citizenship.

The Law of Historical Memory will also provide public funds to excavate the mass graves of Franco's opponents, allowing relatives to exhume and rebury their dead.

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