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Madrid to rename 30 streets to wipe out pro-Franco references
By thinkSPAIN Team Wed, Dec 23, 2015
MADRID will change the names of 30 streets and squares named after prominent figures from Franco's dictatorship within six months.
Five plaques will be removed immediately.
The cost of replacing each one will be €54, according to MP for culture and sports, Celia Mayer.
In doing so, the city will start work on a 'memorial plan' with help from history associations and the Cathedra of Historical Memory at Madrid's Complutense University (UCM).
This will include a guide to changing street names, a timetable for completion, criteria, costs, and measures for reducing inconvenience to residents on these roads as far as possible.
Once the street names have been amended, Sra Mayer will present an 'institutional declaration of condemnation' of Franco's régime and an official recognition of those who lost their lives during the dictatorship.
She says this is 'important' because of institutions 'avoiding discussing the war and violence' of Franco's reign, and says the decision to change the street names showed 'great democratic maturity'.
Over 144,000 citizens 'disappeared' – and were probably murdered – during the 40 years of oppression which, according to reports from international organisations, was a 'régime of human rights violation'.
Some of the streets are named after officials who played a direct role in barbaric crimes against humanity, including Generals Muñoz Grandes, García de la Herrán, Asensio Cabanillas, Millán Astray, Fanjul, and Kirkpatrick, plus Captain Cortés, the Blue Division, and Commander Zorita.
Others relate to specifically Franco-related language or symbols, such as C/ Caudillo ('weapons arsenal street'), C/ Arco de la Victoria ('Victory Arch street'), C/ Batalla de Belchite ('Battle of Belchite street'), and C/ Arriba España, named after the nationalist expression used by Franco's men and which roughly translates as 'Up Spain'.
Instead, the 30 squares and streets will be named after 'women invisible on the map', 'trades and professions that have brought wealth to the city', 'Madrid natives who have made a significant contribution to their city', and 'campaign groups and revolutions which have fought for public rights and services', Celia Mayer says.
The motion, presented by the socialists and approved by the party in power – left-wing independents Ahora Madrid – and centre-right independents Ciudadanos, was rejected by the PP.
According to the right-wing party, they did not vote in favour because the criteria for naming streets anew, which included victims of violence and persecution during the Civil War, did not mention victims of violence and persecution for 'political, ideological or religious motives'.
Sra Mayer stressed this had not been mentioned because it is already included in the Law of Historic Memory where the text requires town halls to remove all pro-Franco symbolism.
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