The Valencian Government fined two protesters with 4,000 euros for displaying Francoist symbols
March called by Spain 200 last October 12 in the Benimaclet neighborhood of Valencia.Jorge Gil / Europa Press

The Valencian Generalitat has sanctioned two participants in the march of the far-right party Spain 2000 on October 12 in Valencia with fines of 4,000 euros for displaying Francoist flags on public roads. It is the first time that the Generalitat has imposed sanctions for these types of events, by breaching the prohibition of publicly displaying elements contrary to the democratic memory and the dignity of the victims, which is considered a serious violation of the Valencian democratic memory law.

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The sanction comes after a process in which the fined persons have alleged that said acts “do not constitute an infraction”, as well as that the flag with the San Juan eagle is not “neither pre-constitutional nor unconstitutional.” However, the resolution concludes that the shield that they exhibit is the Francoist one, which was in force between 1938 and 1977, so it is “contrary to the democratic memory and the dignity of the victims”, in accordance with the law of the Generalitat . There is an appeal against the sanction and this resolution does not put an end to the administrative procedure.

“We applied the law because articles 39 and 40 were violated. Acts of exaltation and exaltation of the Franco regime and the humiliation of the victims” are not allowed in the public thoroughfare, Rosa Pérez, Minister of Participation, Transparency, explained to this newspaper. Cooperation and Democratic Quality of the Valencian Generalitat. “We have been able to certify and verify that there was an exhibition of Francoist symbols, contrary to democratic memory, and we have applied the sanctioning regime so that it does not go unpunished. And we are going to act like this in the face of possible manifestations of this type. That is why we ask for the collaboration of all institutions and that the participants who display these symbols are always identified ”, adds the counselor, general coordinator of Esquerra Unida in the Valencian Community, a member of Unides Podem. Pérez points out that he does not know an equal sanction for the same events in Spain.

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Thus, the resolution justifies the 4,000 euros penalty (the law contemplates between 2,001 and 10,000 euros), since the Generalitat must “avoid the performance of acts carried out in public that involve discrediting, disparaging or humiliating the victims or their families, exaltation of the military uprising or the Franco regime, or homage or awarding of distinctions to the natural or legal persons who supported the military uprising and the dictatorship ”.

“In this case, the display of elements contrary to the democratic memory and the dignity of the victims in the Benimaclet neighborhood demonstration, together with the display of Nazi symbols, the phalanx flag, fascist greetings and torches, makes said demonstration in an act of promotion and public exaltation of the Franco dictatorship, and, therefore, of those who caused a serious breach of the freedom regime and the democratic system of the Spanish State, whose future repetition must be prevented and avoided by the public powers ”, indicates the resolution.

The march of the torches in Benimaclet (Valencia).
The march of the torches in Benimaclet (Valencia).Jorge Gil / Europa Press

In the same way, it considers that the exhibition during the demonstration of Francoist symbols “also entails an unacceptable public dissemination of the contempt and humiliation of the victims who, because of the defense of democratic values, were the object of a long history of terror, persecution and elimination by the Franco dictatorship ”.

This “adds damage to the dignity of the victims and that of their next of kin in the form of a public offense, a circumstance that, due to the application of the principle of proportionality in the imposition of sanctions, must necessarily act as an aggravating factor to the sanction and for the sake of prevention. of future conducts of the same content ”.

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An editor of this newspaper was present at the October 12 demonstration, during which Francoist and some Nazi symbols were exhibited and fascist chants were uttered. Some protesters also responded with the Nazi salute to the protests and caceroladas that many residents of the neighborhood dedicated to them from the balconies. The participants numbered around one hundred and a half.

These sanctions are known three days after the report of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) on the Democratic Memory Law was made public, which broadly endorses the Government’s preliminary draft, although it questions some of its key aspects, such as the outlawing of Franco’s foundations.

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