Zapatero opens old wounds

An article yesterday in the Telegraph reports on a Bill presented to the Madrid Parliament proposing a "Law of Historic Memory" to remove all symbols of Franco.

Under the new law the Catholic Church in Spain will lose state aid and financial subsidies if it fails to remove the plaques listing the names of pro-Franco fighters beneath the phrase "Fallen for God and Spain". In many cases, this will mean removing monuments to those brave martyrs who fell because they refused to renounce the Catholic faith in the face of communist persecution.

This is a very significant development. Modern Spain has been able to achieve a certain amount of reconciliation in the post civil war period by respecting the heroes and denouncing the atrocities that form a part of any civil war.

Zapatero's aggressively secularist government is in line with much of the rest of Europe in promoting anti-family policies. However Spain is a particular case in which many priests and religious went to their deaths outside towns and villages, shot by squads of soldiers and buried in unmarked graves. To re-ignite the hatreds of the civil war era is an evil thing indeed.

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