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Europe

Spain to Grant First Official Recognition to Franco's Victims

The Spanish government has approved four decrees aimed at recognizing the suffering of the leftist victims of the 1936-39 civil war and the subsequent dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

A 1938 photo of General Francisco Franco

Franco rebelled against Spain's young republic in 1936, starting a civil war

Those jailed, tortured or forced to work in labor camps, their relatives, or relatives of executed people will be able to apply for a document which gives them no monetary rights, but constitutes the first official recognition of their status as victims.

In addition, certain families which have not already received any economic damages under other laws can also seek a compensation of 135,000 euros ($185,000).

The other decrees passed Friday, Oct. 3, provide for Franco's victims to retrieve personal documents from the civil war archives, and for foreigners who fought against Franco in the civil war to get Spanish nationality.

Franco's mutiny against the leftist republican government sparked the civil war, which Franco won. He ruled Spain until his death in 1975.

The dictatorship paid tribute to Francoist victims of the war, while the republicans were forgotten.

Measures to rehabilitate their memory are based on the 2007 Law of Historic Memory, which the Socialist government passed despite the disapproval of the conservative opposition.

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