A crowd estimated at more than a quarter of a million attended a rally in Madrid's Oriente Square on Sunday (20 November) to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of General Francisco Franco, Spain's former dictator.
A crowd estimated at more than a quarter of a million attended a rally in Madrid's Oriente Square on Sunday (20 November) to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of General Francisco Franco, Spain's former dictator. The rally was organised by the Fuerza Nueva (New Force) Party -- one of Spain's extreme right-wing groups.
SYNOPSIS: Not only veterans on the Civil War, but thousands of young supporters joined the march to the square. It was from the balcony of the old Royal Palace there that General Franco made his last public appearance six weeks before his death.
They endured pouring rain to display their enthusiasm and nostalgia for the dead dictator, as they raised their arms in the traditional Fascist salute.
On the balcony where General Franco once stood, the leader of the Fuerza Nueva party, Senor Blas Pinar, acknowledged the support of his followers.
In his address, Senor Pinar launched a bitter attack on the present government in Spain.
He told the crowd that General Franco had built up 40 years of Spanish history, which had been destroyed by the government in only two years. His theme was later taken up by another speaker, a former Francoist Minister, Jose Giron, who leads the organisation of Nationalist veterans of the Civil War. He warned that Spain faced economic ruin and political instability. But although the speech by Senor Pinar brought roars of support from the crowd below, the high sport of the rally was to come later, when a recording of General Franco's last speech was played over the loud speakers.
The faithful gather in their thousands, but right-wing support is fading in Spain. Their candidates won less than one per cent of the votes in the this year's general election.