A large part of the measures contained in the Democratic Memory law, approved in October 2022, are pending development. The electoral calls and the months that passed with the Government in office stopped a momentum that the Executive now intends to resume during “the first months” of next year. The activation of legal mechanisms to dissolve the Francisco Franco National Foundation (FNFF) is one of the priorities, according to sources from the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Democratic Memory. The department led by Ángel Víctor Torres assumed the democratic memory powers that previously depended on the Presidency.
The Government is also finalizing a decree with the regulations of the so-called Democratic Memory Council. The creation of this body is essential to develop other central aspects of the law, since among its functions is to report on the Democratic Memory Plan project, on the multi-year exhumation plan or the preparation of recommendations for the repair of the victims. The head of Territorial Policy already advanced during an appearance in Congress last Thursday that at the beginning of 2024 the State DNA Bank will begin to operate for the identification of victims of war and dictatorship. In the month of September, Justicia acquired a computer system to develop the database for genetic identification.
In the anti-crisis decree approved in the middle of the year, and already validated with the Government in office in the Permanent Deputation, a reform of the Foundations law was included to adjust the extinction procedure. Through a new article with the heading “Judicial extinction at the request of the protectorate of foundations” The assumptions and role of this body, dependent on the Ministry of Culture, to act were determined.
The foundation made a move by modifying its statutes to try not to collide with the law, but the Government understands that it is an apology for Franco’s regime and, therefore, that it would fall under the circumstances of extinction. However, other legal mechanisms are reserved to comply with the Democratic Memory law. In addition to the Francisco Franco foundation, foundations could be affected by this change in the law. dedicated to José Antonio Primo de Rivera, Blas Piñar or Juan Yagüe.
The Government must also reform the Associations Law. The memory standard urges this in order to “include as cause of dissolution of associations the public performance of apology for Francoism that praises the coup d’état and the dictatorship or praises its leaders, with contempt and humiliation of the dignity of the victims of the coup d’état, war or Francoism, or direct or indirect incitement to the hatred or violence against them because of their status as such.” This reform initiative was included in last year’s regulatory plan, but did not materialize due to the dissolution of the Cortes Generales after the municipal and regional elections.
Other priorities of the ministry include increasing resources, both economic and human, while waiting for the 2024 Budgets that have not yet reached Congress. This is intended to ensure the deployment of the norm in aspects such as exhumations, the removal of Francoist symbols in the municipalities where it still persists and measures in educational matters and teacher training.
The restitution or compensation to the parties politicians of seized assets will have to wait longer. These are one of the measures included in the norm with a period of half a year from its entry into force, due to pressure from ERC, but before that the Democratic Memory Council must be operational for consultation. Likewise, to materialize these reparations, it is necessary to first bring to the Council of Ministers the creation of a technical commission so that, within a period of one year, it “prepares and presents a study that describes the set of economic reparation measures aimed at victims of war and dictatorship, and recognized in both state and regional regulations, to establish conclusions and recommendations on the degree of coverage achieved and correctable deficits.
The rule expressly included the development of a decree with the regulations on the “restitution or compensation to political parties of assets and rights seized in application of the regulations on political responsibilities of the period 1936-1939, which will set a new deadline for the presentation of requests for restitution or compensation”. Despite establishing a maximum of six months Since the regulation was published in the BOE, the Government no longer included this decree in the 2023 annual regulatory plan.
The Republicans have once again insisted on its development after promoting an urgent question in the lower house about the development of the law. The Government limited itself to highlighting the personal reparations carried out. The calculations that ERC have handled on the seizures that their organization would have suffered by the Franco regime reach up to 200 properties with an economic value estimated at around 90 million euros.
Another of the pending regulatory developments has to do with the resignification of the Valley of the Fallen. Under the name of Valle de Cuelgamuros, the aim is to provide a new legal framework to turn it into a place of democratic memory, of a civil nature, destined “to make known, through plans and mechanisms of investigation and dissemination, the circumstances of its construction, the historical period in which it is inserted and its meaning, in order to strengthen constitutional and democratic values.” In this line, the coalition government program It is limited to a commitment, without setting deadlines or specifying: “We will develop the Democratic Memory Law and promote exhumations, culminating the resignification of Cuelgamuros and advancing the recognition of republican exile and places of memory.”