Franco supporters protest in Madrid at plans to remove dictator’s remains

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TOMB RAID: The issue has reopened old wounds in Spain. Credit: Shutterstock

AROUND 100 people have gathered in Madrid to protest against preparations by the Spanish government to exhume the body of former dictator Gen. Francisco Franco.

His remains lie in a controversial mausoleum in the Valley of the Fallen, in the Guadarrama mountains 30 miles northwest of Madrid.

Many of the protesters waved the flag of Spain that existed under Franco’s 40-year authoritarian reign, following his military coup which started the 1936-39 Spanish civil war.

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Others held signs reading “leave Franco in peace” and “Hands off the Valley and Franco.”

Franco ordered the construction of the monument before his death in 1975, and it has become a shrine for Spain’s far right.

Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has pledged to exhume Franco’s remains by the end of the year, and has called the tomb “a divisive symbol.”

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