• Short Summary

    General Francisco Franco -- El Caudillo -- aged 77, once the youngest General in Europe, distinguished soldier, politician, and for the last 30 years Iron man of Spain.

  • Description

    Spain, 1962, GV's & CU's Franco.

    Spain, 1936-1969. LV artillery in action; troops. SV Ditto (4 shots) TLV troops march. SV guns fire.

    GROUND-TO-AIR shot aircraft attack; bomb explodes.

    LV Castle on hilltop. SV's ditto with troops LV fire from battlements. LV Bilbao town in flames. SV burning buildings.

    SV Burning buildings (3 shots)

    TV Nationalist troops march. STV through town, people give Fascist salute (3 shots)

    SCU People embrace soldiers.

    France 1940. MV PAN FROM platform to train. SV Franco arrives; greeted by Hitler. SCU Hitler & Franco (2 shots)

    Spain 1947. STV People queue to vote (2 shots). SV People voting, CU Spanish newspaper headlines.

    Spain 1965. SV Prince Juan Carlos enters Palace. Same Franco and party arrive. Same Franco in procession passes Prince. MV Priest at alter. SV Statues on tomb. SCU Juan Carlos SV Franco.

    Spain 1968. MV Franco and wife out of car and enter building. CU font PAN UP TO guests. CU Priest blessing baby. Same Franco and wife watch. MV Prince Juan Carlos, PAN TO Eugenia holding baby beside priest.

    Spain 1969. GV EXT Cortes (Parliament) PAN DOWN TO guard. SV Franco arrives, shakes hands with ministers. MV Franco on platform. GV INTO Cortes, assembly gives ovation to Franco.

    Spain 1969. MV Armed police on roof. SV flag bearer. SV Franco and Carlos leave building. (2 shots) MV Pressmen and police. SV Guard. SV Franco and Carlos driven away in car.

    Initials WLW/ML/PS/1430 WLW/ML/BB/0059

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: General Francisco Franco -- El Caudillo -- aged 77, once the youngest General in Europe, distinguished soldier, politician, and for the last 30 years Iron man of Spain.

    He was born the son of a naval paymaster in 1892, at the naval base of El Ferrol. He intended to join the navy, but recruitment had been suspended because of the country's economy and the battering the Navy had taken in the Cuban war.

    So he became a soldier instead and in 1912, after coming out of the Toledo Infantry College top of his class as a second lieutenant., he volunteered to join the Spanish campaign in Morocco against native rebels. he gained a reputation for a charmed life in the field, several times narrowly escaping death -- but was finally caught by a bullet and invalided out with Spain's highest award for bravery. But in 1920 he was back in North Africa where he eventually became the commander of the Spanish Foreign Legion.

    After his appointment as the youngest Brigadier General in Europe at the age of 33 in 1925 -- a reward for a tactical plan which ended the Moroccan campaign successfully for Spain -- he was asked to organise repressive measures against left-wing unrest in Spain 1934. He succeeded after heavy fighting, and was in full military control of Spain for two weeks. Shortly after, he was appointed Chief of Staff.

    But in 1936 a new left wing Government relegated him to the Governor ship of the Canary Isles.

    Meanwhile, the country entered a period of intense unrest which ended in anarchy. The seek administration struggled hopelessly against a wave of strikes, and after several assassinations the garrison in Spanish Morocco rose in revolt. Franco flew from the Canaries to join it, while the uprising spread immediately to Spain itself.

    The long, bitter war began, with Franco leading the Nationalist Forces against a conglomeration of Communists and "civilian" soldiers, collectively called Republicans.

    The Nationalist campaign was ruthless, and an estimated million people died during the three years. In addition, foreign intervention threatened to turn Spain into a battleground for Europe, as German Nazis and Italian Fascists fought with Franco, and volunteers from other nations joined the Nationalists.

    Franco emerged as undisputed leader, and his Government was soon recognised by most of the major powers.

    Soon after Franco set up his first peace time cabinet, World War II. broke out. Spain, struggling to resurrect a shattered economy, tried to maintain allegiance with the Axis powers without getting militarily involved. Franco succeeded, although he sent the famous Spanish " Blue Division " to fight with the Germans in Russia. But as Allies gained ground towards the end of the war, he began easing out his pro-Nazi advisors in the cabinet.

    In June 1945, although Franco and his Government were recognised by most of the major powers, the United Nations excluded Spain from the organisation by a unanimous vote.

    In June 1947, Franco passed the Law of Succession -- declaring Spain to be a kingdom. The law allowed for a successor to be appointed in case of his death or inability to rule. It was popularly endorsed by a national vote.

    A year later, Franco met the exiled Don Juan of Bourbon, son of the late King Alfonso, and an agreement was reached for his son, Prince Juan Carlos, to be educated in Spain.

    In 1949, delicate American negotiations set the scene for Spain's eventual welcome back into the World and European fold. The United States eventually set up military bases in Spain as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defence system, in exchange for economic aid. Spain was, partly as a result of this, admitted to the United Nations in 1955.

    The Spanish-American agreement marked the beginning of the real recovery of the country's economy, and the ??? was stabilised in 1959. A tourist boom along the coast followed.

    Franco had by now clearly established his desire to have a restoration of monarchy after his retirement or death, and relations with the exiled Spanish royalty improved.

    In 1966, Franco passed the Organic Law which allowed for a Prime Minister - although, as with the proclamation of a monarchy, a Prime Minister has not yet been appointed. It has been reported recently, however, that Rear Admiral Luis Carrero, Vice-President of Spain and long-time ally of Franco, is about to be named as the country's first Prime Minister for 31 years. he was originally made Vice-President in 1967, and today is responsible for the day-to-day Government in Spain -- under Franco's guidance. The Organic Law also provided for more flexibility of the country's civil law.

    No agreement has yet been reached on Spain's request to join the Common Market -- first made in 1962 -- although some progress was made during the 1967 negotiations.

    October 1967 marked another cautious step towards democracy -- the first national election since the Civil War. The election, of 104 deputies to represent the people in the Cortes, was an implementation of reforms made under the Organic Law.

    But as the first steps towards democracy took place, civil strife began. Following civil disturbances and riots, a State of Emergency was declared in January 1969 and five articles of the Constitution were suspended until March that year.

    Later in 1969, Prince Juan Carlos was officially named as Franco's successor with overwhelming approval from the Cortes. The Prince went to the Cortes with Franco to be sworn in as future King of Spain. Under the succession law, Carlos holds the title "Prince of Spain" until sworn in as King, and he must be installed as monarch within eight days of Franco's death or retirement.

    Apart from a period of a few lenient years, the Press has been controlled by the Government -- and still is today. The Press Laws of 1938 gave the Government full control of the press and complete censorship. The latter was abolished and greater freedom of discussion given to editors in 1966, but restrictions were re-introduced the following year and in 1968. Total censorship was re-imposed during the 1969 state of emergency. All Spanish journalists must be trained at two state colleges or one privately-owned academy.

    But while Franco is reportedly preparing for semi-retirement and easing Spain towards democracy -- last year he reshuffled his cabinet to include more moderates and European-minded technocrats, and this year members of the technically illegal opposition were allowed to meet and discus with a foreign minister -- labour troubles and political unrest grow.

    A power struggle is emerging between the powerful ??? Roman Catholic Opus Dei group, whose members dominate the cabinet, and the right-wing Falange who helped put Franco into power. Other groups ranging from the Basques to the Christian Democrats who hope for recognition as the official opposition, and from right-wing Generals shuffled around by Franco to lessen the possibility of a coup to several Catalan organisations -- have also entered the political struggle. Most hope to receive some sort of recognition from Prince Carlos when and if he comes to power. Meanwhile, as the struggle continues and unrest grows, Spain waits for Franco to announce its first Prime Minister.

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