The family of Francisco Franco has said it will use “all legal remedies” to prevent the exhumation of the dictator’s remains as planned by the Spanish government.
Denouncing a “retrospective act of revanchism”, the family reiterated in a statement issued on Saturday its “strongest and most unanimous opposition” to the initiative of the government, which wishes to exhume Franco’s body by the end of the year.
However, if the exhumation takes place, the family says that it will insist on the right to remove the body and give him “a Christian burial”.
“Of course we’ll take care of my grandfather’s body. We will not leave it in the hands of the government,” Francis Franco, one of seven grandchildren of the general who led Spain between 1939 and 1975, told the conservative daily La Razón.
“Under no circumstances will the Martínez-Bordiú Franco family actively or passively collaborate with the iniquitous intention of the Government embodied in the Royal Decree Law approved yesterday, reiterating therefore our firmest and unanimous opposition to any exhumation and transfer of the remains of our grandfather,” the family said in a statement.
The socialist government of Pedro Sanchez on Friday approved a decree to exhume Francisco Franco from the Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen), a monumental complex 50 km from the Spanish capital, overlooked by a 150-meter-high cross, where his body has been resting since his death in 1975.
If the family continues to refuse the exhumation and does not indicate a suitable reburial site, the government will do so “in a dignified and respectful place,” according to Vice President Carmen Calvo.
Francis Franco rejected the idea of burying his grandfather’s remains alongside his wife, Carmen Polo, who died in 1988, buried in the El Pardo cemetery near Madrid. “There is no security, my grandfather can not be buried there,” he said.