Spain's new democratic constitution became the supreme law of the land with its publication (29 December) in the official government gazette.
CU Map of Spain in wall, ZOOM IN TO copy of Spanish constitution.
GV EXTERIOR Parliament building in Madrid. (2 SHOTS)
GV & CU Statue of General Franco outside government building. (4 SHOTS)
SV & CU Journalists at work in newspaper office. (3 SHOTS)
CU & SV Journalists typing onto computer display terminals.(2 SHOTS)
GV EXTERIOR Catholic church.
GV EXTERIOR TILT DOWN Evangelical church the Church of Christ.
GV Carabanchel prison in Madrid. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: Spain's new democratic constitution became the supreme law of the land with its publication (29 December) in the official government gazette. This formally ended a three-year transition from dictatorship to democracy.
SYNOPSIS: The signing of the new constitution by King Juan Carlos two days earlier heralded a new era for Spain. Since the 1936-1939 civil war that brought General Franco to power, the country lived under strict dictatorship until the start of a three-year transition period. The new constitution is aimed at ending the rancour and violence engendered nearly 40 years ago.
And parliament is to be dissolved to allow for general elections on March the 1st.
The terms of the new constitution leave little room for the legacies of the late General France. It guarantees the civil liberties suppressed during his 36-year rule. Freedom of the press is one of them. Although some residual laws regulating the press are restrictive, they are not frequently applied. The constitution guarantees freedom of speech, the right of free assembly and the right to strike. Dozens of laws stand in need of change to conform with the new constitution.
When the constitution was published the Justice department announced that civil marriage would be available to all Spaniards for the first time since the civil war. The constitution bars discrimination on religious grounds. Under General Franco, Roman Catholicism was the official religion.
And end to torture is among the rights guaranteed prisoners. The people of Spain will soon face their first elections under the new constitution.