The European Parliament passed a resolution on Thursday with a broad majority that could lead, among others, to the banning of the Francisco Franco Foundation. The resolution urges member states to take “effective” action against organisations that “glorify” Nazism and fascism.
Passed with 355 votes in favour, 90 against, and with 39 abstentions, the resolution includes amendments put forward by left-wing groups that make reference to the attack by far right radicals on the Blanquerna cultural center in Madrid, on Catalonia’s national day in 2013.
Another amendment passed refers to the Spanish parliament’s decision to remove the remains of Francisco Franco from the Valley of the Fallen mausoleum, and calls for the “effective withdrawal of all other symbols and monuments that glorify the military uprising, the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship.” Those symbols of the Franco regime that cannot be removed, the amendment also says, should be provided with context and be reinterpreted so that they can contribute to raising public awareness and historical memory.
Condemnation of hate crimes
In general, in response to suspicions of complicity between political leaders and police with neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups in some EU countries, the parliament calls on member states to condemn and severely punish crimes by “certain far right groups” that incite hatred.
As well as calling for the “effective banning” of neo-fascist groups, the resolution also urges the creation of ‘anti-hate’ organizations within police forces to help ensure that staff do not become involved in “racist, xenophobic or discriminatory” behaviour.
The motion against fascism in Europe began with an initiative by Italian MEP Eleonora Forenza (GUE), after she was attacked by a group of fascists in September. The motion is also a response to the attack in Norway in 2011 in which 77 people died.
Other similar recent attacks mentioned in the text include that against British MP Jo Cox in 2016, as well as other incidents involving far right groups in Poland, Greece, Italy, Germany, France, Latvia and other Nordic countries, as well as in Spain.