Some readers may consider this entry a bit “off-topic” as it’s not part of our normal fare, bringing you news about the Basques from around the world.  Some might also consider it “stirring up the past,” “opening old wounds,” or “being spiteful.”  To the former, we say that in the five years we’ve been doing this blog, we’ve discussed the Spanish Civil War and its consequences on many occasions, so we can’t let this slide, either.  To the latter, we say that without “truth, justice, and reparations,” there can be no peace or freedom.

Keeping our dead in unmarked mass graves in the mountains; erasing the thefts and repression of Francoism; forgetting that a group of people conspired for over four decades to use the machinery of the State in their own interests; that, more than a mistake, is shameful and iniquity

And that’s why we’re publishing this entry today. 


Nine MEPs elected by Spain, two of whom are Basque, went to Strasbourg yesterday to remember the 40th anniversary of the death of dictator Francisco Franco.  In a series of events that denounced the impunity of his crimes, they demanded truth, justice, and reparations for all his victims, and supported the trials of those accused of crimes against humanity committed during the dictatorship.

They did so in the Session of the European Parliament where all the MEPs of this informal work group requested a minute to speak in the full session of the Eurochamber that is set aside to discuss matters of political importance.  The goal of this joint action was to get around the usual PP-PSOE-Ciudadanos-UPyD block that normally get together to prevent this matter from being discussed in the European Parliament.

They did so in a press conference in which they presented their initiative, where they demanded European authorities treat Francoism with the same attitude they have towards Naziism and Stalinism.   The MEPs brought up the injustices that occurred back then still happen today, here and now, causing suffering, humiliation, and harm to hundreds of thousands of people.

One of those who did so was MEP Izaskun Bilbao, who is part of this informal work group, who stood and denounced, before a chamber that is normally very demanding with historical memory, that while they stand against anything “act of amnesia” against Naziism they have stood by and done nothing while “the Cervantes Institute in Paris occupies what was the headquarters of the Basque Government in Exile, seized by the Nazis, and given to the dictator.”  It’s an injustice we’ve blogged about many times.

And they will continue to do so through initiatives that MEP Marina Albiol has presented in the name of the group.  This would be a proposal for a written declaration and an oral question, or through a speech dedicated to this problem that actor Alberto San Juan would give at a press conference, which would be held in the next few weeks at the European Parliament’s headquarters.  This would be open to all people and elected officials who work in the Eurochamber.

We’ll leave you with the news shared by the Basque MEPs (Josu Jauristi and Izaskun Bilbao) who are participating in these initiatives.  We’ll also leave you with the text of the written statement they are going to present.

 

Izaskun Barandika – 24/11/2015 -Euskadi

DENUNCIANDO LA AMNESIA HISTORICA CUARENTA AÑOS DESPUES DE LA MUERTE DE FRANCO

Este lunes un grupo de eurodiputados que representan un amplio sector de la ciudadanía del estado español, elegidos en candidaturas que expresan una enorme pluralidad hemos participado en una acción destinada a que no pase desapercibido en Europa el cuarenta aniversario de la muerte de Franco. Hemos querido subrayar ante el pleno del Parlamento Europeo la injusticia que afecta a miles de víctimas del franquismo cuando se cumple el cuarenta aniversario de la muerte del dictador. Un presentador de lujo, Alberto San juan el actor Alberto San Juan ha explicado el sentido del acto y reivindicado el derecho a saber. “Tenemos un problema de ignorancia construida desde el Estado sobre la historia reciente. Hay que revisar el acuerdo sobre la ignorancia que se tomó en la transición que nos convierte en una excepción terrible en Europa. El único país que no investiga los crímenes de su dictadura”.

(Follow) (Automatic translation)

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Text of the proposed written statement and oral question to be presented in the session

http://www.izaskunbilbao.eus/download/PREGUNTAORAL.pdf