The Plenary Session of Congress approves the new Memory Law and sends it to the Senate to continue its processing

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, together with the Second Vice President and Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, during the extraordinary session in the Congress of Deputies – Alberto Ortega – Europa Press

MADRID, July 14 (.) –

The Plenary Session of Congress approved this Thursday the Democratic Memory Law project, with the support of PSOE, United We Can, PNV Bildu, PDeCAT, Más País and Compromís, against the ‘no’ of the PP, Vox, Ciudadanos, Junts and the CUP. Esquerra Republicana and the BNG have opted for abstention because although they see progress, it still seems insufficient. The rule will now continue its processing in the Senate with a view to being definitively approved at the turn of the summer.

This law, which represents a deepening of the 2007 Historical Memory Law, was approved in the Council of Ministers almost a year ago and taken into consideration by Congress in October 2021, but two months later it was put in ‘the fridge’ when The government does not see enough support to carry it forward, since the opposition of the PP, Vox and Ciudadanos was joined by the initial rejection of the ERC.

It was last June when the project was removed from the drawer to reactivate the processing, once PSOE and United We Can had approached positions with other minority formations. Thus, the Democratic Memory Law passed the presentation phase after introducing several amendments agreed with Bildu, PNV, the PDeCAT, Más País and the Canarian Coalition.


The bulk of the agreements were reached with Bildu, beginning by extending until 1983, five years after the Constitution was approved, the recognition of victims of Human Rights violations and the possible economic compensation that this entailed.

Specifically, the law mandates the Government to create, within a year from its entry into force, a technical commission to carry out a study on alleged human rights violations against people “because of their struggle for the consolidation of democracy, the rights fundamental principles and democratic values, between the entry into force of the Constitution and December 31, 1983”. That study should include “possible ways of recognizing and repairing this group.”

In addition, the PSOE and United We Can also agreed with the aberztale coalition within the Council of Democratic Memory an independent state commission of an academic nature to “contribute to the clarification of human rights violations during the civil war and the dictatorship.” Its function will be to collect testimonies, information and documents and approve a report of conclusions and recommendations for the reparation of the victims in an “objective and impartial” manner.

Since the Amnesty Law of 1978, Spain has allocated more than 21,000 million euros for economic reparations to some 608,000 victims of the War and Francoism, and it is considered that what is pending are seizures of assets from entities such as cultural athenaeums and the pillage of paper money.

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In another of the previous agreements, an amendment was introduced to declare the illegality and illegitimacy of the courts, juries and any other criminal and administrative bodies created after the 1936 coup d’état, for persecution for political or conscientious reasons. The bill already included the nullity of its resolutions and the illegitimacy of these courts that will finally be recognized as illegal.

With More Country, and the PDeCAT, the PSOE and United We Can close another agreement that declares the Franco regime “illegal” and expressly recognizes that “the struggles of anti-Franco social movements and different political actors” gave birth to democracy.

With the PDeCAT it was agreed to articulate mechanisms and resources to evaluate the cultural and linguistic “repression and persecution” of the Franco regime, declaring “victims the Basque, Catalan and Galician communities, languages ​​and cultures”.

And with the PNV, another pact was sealed to set a one-year deadline for the restitution of documents or effects to natural or legal persons of a private nature that are in the General Archive of the Civil War. Parties, unions or military units that claim ensigns, emblems or flags that are in the power of public entities may also benefit.

During the debate in the Constitutional Commission, the government parties agreed to five amendments with the Republicans, but the latter have not given their arm to twist and have remained abstained, just as Junts has done.


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