Spanish government set for crunch talks over Franco exhumation

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MOVE TALKS: Ministers are set to discuss the exhumation on Friday

SPAIN’S Council of Ministers is set to begin making arrangements for the exhumation of former dictator Francisco Franco’s remains from a controversial mausoleum after a meeting scheduled for this Friday.

The Council is due to discuss administrative arrangements for the moving of Franco’s body from the Valley of the Fallen which lies near Madrid.

It comes as Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced earlier this year that his left-leaning Partido Socialista (PSOE) government would undertake the move.

Sanchez said he was willing to wait until all the necessary protocol had been taken care of.

“We have waited 40 years so we can wait a few more days or weeks,” he said.

The exhumation follows measures approved by the Congress of Deputies in May of last year which called for the move to take place.

The reason was in part due to the monument having being built with forced labour from Republican other and political prisoners.

Sanchez said previously he wanted to convert the mausoleum, into a monument commemorating the country’s fight against fascism. 

The Franco regime said it built the Valley of the Fallen as a symbol of reconciliation following the Spanish Civil War.

Contemporary supporters of Franco have voiced opposition to the plans and have accused the government of trying to undo efforts to unify Spain after Franco’s death in 1975. Franco’s family have also spoken out against the plans.

Sanchez previously said symbols could no longer be allowed if they “divided” Spanish people.

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