European Parliament names Franco Foundation in fascist group ban call

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MOTION: The European Parliament referred to Franco (inset) and the Foundation CREDIT: Shutterstock (main), Wikimedia Commons (inset)

AN ORGANISATION that promotes former dictator Francisco Franco could soon be banned after a European Union (EU) body called on governments to outlaw groups that “glorify” fascism.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) passed a motion last week which specifically referred to the Francisco Franco Foundation as an entity which “glorifies” the former ruler and his “crimes”.

The reference came as part of a wider call to prohibit groups that “exalt and glorify” fascism and Nazism across Europe.

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Spanish MEPs including Ana Miranda, of the leftist Galician regionalist Bloque Nacionalista Galego (BNG), said the motion was part of efforts to ensure fascism was “never again” repeated.

MEPs with the conservative Partido Popular (PP) asked for specific references to the Franco Foundation to be removed but they were kept in. PP members reportedly wanted it to be a general text that would be applicable across the bloc.

The motion referred to Spain’s left-leaning Partido Socialista (PSOE) government’s efforts to remove Franco’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen, which it said was a place of far-right “pilgrimage”.

The Francisco Franco Foundation said in a statement the motion was sectarian and anti-democratic.

It added its work to promote and spread information about Franco’s life and time in power was in the general interest.

The resolution, backed by 355 MEPs and voted against by 90 with 39 abstentions, called on EU member states to take measures to curb the “normalisation” of fascism and xenophobia.

The main groupings in the European Parliament, which are made of political parties from across the bloc, jointly agreed to condemn what they said was a “surge” in neo-fascism.

The Parliament has called for a culture of common memory to combat what it claimed was a declining level of interest among younger people in Europe.

“Younger generations feel less and less interested in the history of fascism and therefore run the risk of being indifferent to new threats,” the motion said.

It came after the Italian MEP Eleonora Forenza faced violence while attended an anti-fascist demonstration in Bari in her home country in September.

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