EU Parliament President corrects historical revisionism by Spanish right-wing extremists

Vox MEP Herman Tertsch warned in a circular e-mail against the planned “Ley de Memoria Democrática” and denounced Franco’s “desecration of the grave”. Tertsch is now receiving criticism from David Sassoli.

Right-wing extremist historical revisionism reprimanded: EU Parliament President David Sassoli
Foto: European Union 2019/CC BY 4.0

Javier Ortega-Smith is a member of the extreme right-wing Vox party executive committee. Recently, he made the headlines for not condemning Francoism. The right-wing extremist pointed out that there were elections during the almost 40-year dictatorship. There is only one catch: as early as 1977, shortly after Franco’s death, the professor of political law, Javier García Fernández, said that there was little point in talking about electoral behaviour during Francoism “because without universal suffrage and public freedoms, elections cannot be seriously studied”.

Defence of Francoism

The fact that Vox makes no secret of their sympathies for the Franco dictatorship was also shown recently in a circular mail from MEP Hermann Tertsch to all members of the EU Parliament. Vox politician Tertsch has already attracted attention in the past with controversial statements. For example, he called for a coup d’état against the centre-left government.

In the aforementioned circular, Tertsch warned against the “Ley de Memoria Democrática”, which, among other things, promises to ban francist organisations. The Vox politician is concerned that the government wants to remove the “Holy Cross in the Valle de los Caídos”, Franco’s longtime final resting place. The concrete cross is considered to be the highest freestanding cross in the world. Tertsch also denounces Franco’s “desecration of his grave” by his exhumation last year.

The basilica is run by a Benedictine order, which is located on the other side of the mountain basilica. The basilica’s priest, Santiago Cantera, was a candidate on the list of the fascist Falange Española (FE) in the early 1990s.

No right-wing historical revisionism in the EU

The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, did not want to leave Tertsch’s circular unanswered. Sassoli sent a letter to the Memoria Histórica group, stressing that he would not allow historical revisionism and the glorification of the Franco dictatorship.

“The legitimate, constitutional and democratically elected government of the Spanish Republic was overthrown by a coup d’état. The person who led this uprising, General Franco, was a dictator, and his regime practised the systematic persecution and elimination of his political opponents. To accuse the parties that supported the republican government of ‘destroying democracy and freedoms’ is not debatable, it is a falsification of history”.
David Sassoli
President of the EU Parliament

The President’s reply was preceded by the demand of members of the Spanish parties En Comú, Podemos, JxCat, ERC, PNV and Bildu not to leave the historical revisionism of the right-wing extremists unanswered.