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Madrid orders reburial of fascist dictator Franco after standoff with family, supporters

Madrid orders reburial of fascist dictator Franco after standoff with family, supporters
Spain has set a date for a ‘low-key’ reburial of dictator Francisco Franco, breaking a gridlock in the battle with his family and supporters who wish to see the late leader entombed in a majestic crypt in the center of Madrid.

“The reburial of Franco’s remains will take place in the morning of June 10,” Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo announced on Friday.

The official stressed that the late ruler’s remains will be exhumed from the imposing ‘Valley of the Fallen’ mausoleum outside Madrid and reburied at a lower profile cemetery, Mingorrubio-El Pardo, where many officials of his era have got their final resting place. It will be a quiet ceremony without much media coverage, Calvo said.

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The long-planned reburial was delayed several times by protests from Franco’s family and supporters. After failing to stop the exhumation altogether, they are fighting to have the remains moved to a crypt at the lavish Almudena Cathedral in downtown Madrid close to the Royal Palace. The socialist government, meanwhile, insists that the new burial site should be a low-key and more discreet one, considering the notoriety of Franco’s regime.

General Francisco Franco came to power after launching a coup and winning a bloody civil war in the 1930s. Ruling under the title El Caudillo (‘Leader’), he was considered one of the last dictators in Europe when he died in 1975. His role in history and legacy remains a point of contention in Spain.

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