Spanish Parliament Condemns Franco

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Parliament condemned Gen. Francisco Franco's nearly 40-year dictatorship Wednesday in historic legislation addressing a dark chapter of Spanish history that had been largely off-limits.

The bill sponsored by the Socialist government and passed by the lower house of parliament also makes symbolic amends to victims of the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War. It formally denounces Franco's regime, mandates that local governments fund efforts to unearth mass graves from the Civil War and declares as "illegitimate" the summary military trials that led to the execution or imprisonment of thousands of the general's enemies.

The legislation orders the removal of all Franco-era symbols such as streets and plazas named after him or generals who fought for him. There are dozens of such symbols in Madrid alone.

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