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50th Anniversary Civil War Still Painful to Spaniards
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Meisler, Stanley
Date: Jul 15, 1986
Start Page: 1
Section: 1; Foreign Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

There is an obvious difficulty for the Socialist government of Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez. The dictatorship celebrated the 18th of July as a national holiday, commemorating the anniversary of the beginning of the war-the day [Francisco Franco] flew to Morocco, proclaimed his defiance of the republic and waited for German and Italian planes to ferry his troops to the mainland of Spain.

For many years, Francoists would gather in public squares to mark the holiday, to lift their hands stiffly out in the fascist salute, and chant, "Franco, Franco, Franco." Long after the defeat of the republic, they would remind themselves of their so-called crusade against godlessness and the Reds.

After Franco's death, and the transition to democracy, the new government abolished the holiday. Die-hard fascists still gather on that day to pay homage to Franco and his crusade, but they celebrate by themselves, isolated from the Spanish state and from the mood of the nation. Employers are still required to give their workers a bonus in July, but it is now called "the payment of July."

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