In Spain the new government of Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez has decreed that in future the 18th of July -- the anniversary of the late General Franco's nationalist uprising against the republic -- will no longer be considered a public holiday.
In Spain the new government of Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez has decreed that in future the 18th of July -- the anniversary of the late General Franco's nationalist uprising against the republic -- will no longer be considered a public holiday. But as Spaniards made the most of the occasion for the last time this year, it was also an opportunity to forget once and for all the restrictions of the old order.
SYNOPSIS: A group of eight Basque political prisoners did this in style in the town of Durango in the northern province of Vizcaya on Friday (22 July). At the beginning of June they were among 24 Basque prisoners who were released by the caretaker government prior to Spain's general elections, on condition that they went immediately into exile.
But thanks to the work of a group of their compatriots, spearheaded by political leader and poet Telesforo de Monzon, they made their way back to their homeland -- running the gauntlet of police intervention. Their homecoming was an emotional patriotic occasion for the people who gathered to greet them.
No festive event in Spain would be complete without music -- and active audience participation.
Another Spaniard who reckoned July the 18th marked the end of an era was 77 year old Senor Protasio Montalvo Martin, who had lived in hiding for 38 years in this basement room of his house in the village of Cercedilla near Madrid. A former republican mayor, he went into hiding at the end of the Civil War after seeing a close friend captured and shot by Francoist supporters. His wife cared for him throughout his long incarceration -- and when Senor Martin decided the Civil War had finally been forgotten she was with him as he took his first breath of fresh air.