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World Last statue of dictator Franco removed in 'historic day' for Spain

22:26  23 february  2021
22:26  23 february  2021 Source:   reuters.com

Last statue of dictator Francisco Franco removed from Spanish soil

  Last statue of dictator Francisco Franco removed from Spanish soil The last public statue of Spain's former dictator, Francisco Franco, was removed on Tuesday.The last public statue of Spain's former dictator, Francisco Franco, was removed from Spanish soil on Tuesday.

MELILLA, Spain (Reuters) - The last statue of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco was removed on Tuesday from the city gates of Melilla, a Spanish enclave and autonomous city on the northwest African coast.

a person standing in front of a building: Local workers remove a statue of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in Spain © Reuters/JESUS BLASCO DE AVELLANEDA Local workers remove a statue of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in Spain

Without much fanfare, a group of workmen operated a mechanical digger and heavy drills to chip away at the brick platform on which the statue stood, lifted it off by a chain around its neck and carted it away in bubble wrap on a pickup truck.

The statue, erected three years after Franco's death in 1978, commemorated his role as commander of the Spanish Legion in the Rif War, a conflict fought in the 1920s by Spain and France against the Berber tribes of the Rif mountainous region of Morocco.

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"This is a historic day for Melilla," Elena Fernandez Trevino, in charge of education and culture in the enclave, said on Monday after the local assembly voted to take the statue down, pointing out that it was "the only statue dedicated to a dictator still in the public sphere in Europe."

a man standing next to a stone wall: Local workers remove a statue of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in Spain © Reuters/JESUS BLASCO DE AVELLANEDA Local workers remove a statue of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in Spain

Only the far-right Vox party voted against the move, arguing that the statue celebrated Franco's military role and not his dictatorship, so the Historical Memory Law, a 2007 statute calling for the removal of all symbols connected to Franco's regime, should not apply.

The Spanish government has made several high-profile removals off the back of this law, including taking over the former dictator's summer palace from his heirs last September.

(Reporting by Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda; Writing by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

ÖFB team: Franco Foda loses assistant trainer Imre Szabics .
Imre Szabics, assistant trainer to ÖFB team boss Franco Foda, will take up the post of head coach at third-placed Hungarian MOL Fehérvár FC on April 1, 2021. © Provided by SPOX This means that Szabics will retire from the national team's coaching staff after the three upcoming World Cup qualifiers in March. The 39-year-old will complete the national team course according to the program.

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