The Government will achieve next week, with a year of delay and a package of substantial amendments agreed with Bildu, the approval of the Law of Democratic Memory. The rule aims to establish the “truth” and do “justice, recognition and reparation” for the victims of the Civil War and the dictatorship and even, due to nationalist demands, investigate the violations of human rights committed since the approval of the Constitution in 1978 until December 31, 1983, when Felipe González already occupied the presidency of the Government. Bildu’s spokeswoman in Congress, Mertxe Aizpurua, assured yesterday that “a path has been opened to put the story of the Transition in check.”
With this law that the Government wants to have ready for its entry into force at the turn of the summer, Francoism is condemned and its illegality is established, as well as that of all the sentences and sanctions imposed for ideological or religious reasons; The aim is to dignify and repair the victims of the war and the dictatorship with the creation of an investigation commission and a prosecutor’s office, and it seeks to thread a historical narrative that values the fight in defense of freedom and democracy that will be Compulsory study in ESO and Baccalaureate.
The text that will be submitted to the vote of the Plenary of Congress next week after the Debate on the State of the Nation, will not have the support of ERC because it does not repeal the Amnesty Law of 1977. For now, this group is inclined to abstention.
The law does incorporate an additional provision agreed with Bildu in exchange for their votes, by virtue of which investigations into human rights violations will also be extended to the Transition period, from the approval of the Constitution until the end of 1983. To do this An academic technical commission made up of independents will be created to analyze cases of rights violations so that their victims are also recognized, but their work, according to the Government, will not give rise to legal proceedings.
For the Executive, this provision is of minor importance and responds to the possibility that exists in the “transitional processes” that some violations are committed. Furthermore, socialist sources emphasize that it was decided to set the deadline for this period at December 31, 1983 and not 1982 to avoid the reproach that only the stage of government of the UCD was subject to scrutiny.
They also assure that there is no place to re-investigate the criminal activity of the GAL because it has already been tried and because their victims do not meet the definition of fighters for freedom and the consolidation of democracy.
On the contrary, for Bildu it is a particularly relevant point. His spokesperson in Congress, Mertxe Aizpurua, yesterday celebrated the pact with the PSOE and stressed in an interview on Hamaika Telebista: “We have opened a path to put in check the story of the exemplary Transition.”
The leader of the nationalist left made a triumphant account of her last-minute support for the rule promoted by the Government of Pedro Sánchez. According to her vision, the new law “will review the human rights violations that occurred up to 1983”, the year in which the GAL began to attack. She defended that the “Francoist structure” continued beyond 1975, the year of Franco’s death, and assumed that the law would make it easier to build an “inclusive memory” for the Abertzale Left.
Among the successes of his negotiation with Sánchez, he highlighted having managed to “declare the Francoist courts illegal and annul the penalties imposed” by them, in addition to “bringing to light the silenced reality that has been denied so many times.”
Despite the fact that the law tries to broaden the focus to become, as its name indicates, a “democratic” memory norm, it does not make any allusion to ETA terrorism or its victims.
Precisely this gap is one of the arguments put forward by the opposition groups -PP, Vox and Ciudadanos- to announce their vote against. These parties accuse the Government of accepting as “co-author” of the law and of the democratic narrative a formation -EH Bildu- “heir to the murderers of ETA”.
The opposition maintains that the law is approved at a particularly inappropriate time, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the murder at the hands of ETA of the PP councilor Miguel Ángel Blanco and also of the kidnapping of the prison official José Antonio Ortega Lara, and it is done like this, they assure, because the Government needs to wink at its partners and throw down a veil that hides its own deterioration.
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