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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 March 2005, 16:22 GMT
Spain removes two fascist statues
Franco statue in Guadalajara (picture: El Mundo)
The square where the Guadalajara statues stood is to be refurbished (photo: El Mundo)
The Spanish city of Guadalajara has become the latest place to remove symbols of Spain's fascist past.

Statues of General Francisco Franco and the founder of Spain's Falangist party, Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, have been removed from a public square.

A large equestrian statue of Franco was removed from a Madrid square last week.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said it was "unthinkable that in a democracy, reminders of dictators should remain in public places".

Reports say the northern city of Santander is also planning to take down its Franco statue.

The council in Guadalajara said the statue of Primo de Rivera, who was executed by Republicans in 1936, was the only known statue of him in Spain, and had become a magnet for neo-fascists.

'Unthinkable'

The statues have been stored in a warehouse, while the Socialist mayor has asked for them to be transferred to the military museum in Madrid.

Spanish news agency Efe says there are only two other statues of General Franco left in Spain - in Santander and Zaragoza. But there are hundreds of other references to the regime that ruled Spain from 1939 until Franco's death in 1975 - with streets, colleges, and roads named after generals.

According to the United Left (IU) party, there are 167 references in Madrid alone.

Associations of anti-Franco veterans have appealed to the public to help keep "an inventory of Franquist symbols which remain in public places".


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