According to his party, the leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, was unaware that a mass he attended on Saturday in Granada would end with the priest asking for a prayer for Francisco Franco, the fascist dictator who ruled Spain until his death in 1975. Casado dodged the issue when questioned about it on Monday in Bilbao, with his press team saying he went to an ordinary mass with his family “without being aware of any other circumstances.” A Spanish pre-Constitutional flag was clearly at sight in front of the first bench of the church.

Spanish media outlets including Newtral published pictures of Casado with mass-goers on the 46th anniversary of the dictator’s death, and the incident has provoked reaction from various political parties. Podemos spokesperson Pablo Echenique said Casado’s attendance at the mass was “extremely serious” and he doubted that it could be attributed to chance, because “there were 10 masses for Franco and 23,000 churches in Spain, so the chance of going to a mass for Franco was 0.005%.”

The leader of Más País, Íñigo Errejón, said “if this had happened in another country, if Merkel had gone to a mass where honors were being paid to Adolf Hitler, I am convinced that the next morning she would say she had been in the wrong.” Casado must “make it clear that the leader of the opposition does not pay homage to dictators.” Socialist spokesperson Hector Gómez also criticized Casado, saying it was “absolutely irresponsible” and required an explanation.

Casado, however, preferred to remain silent on the issue when he appeared before the press after visiting the Memorial Center for Victims of Terrorism in Bilbao. The Franco Foundation issued a statement on Monday explaining that “it did not expressly invite” the PP leader to the mass in Granada, but “appreciates” him attending along with his family. The organization – which could be banned under a new democratic memory law – said that “it hopes that this type of news will serve to normalize” its activities and events.

Combined-Shape Created with Sketch.

Ajuda VilaWeb
Ajuda la premsa lliure

VilaWeb sempre parla clar, i això molesta. Ho fem perquè sempre ho hem fet, d'ençà del 1995, però també gràcies al fet que la nostra feina com a periodistes és protegida pels més de 20.000 lectors que han decidit d'ajudar-nos voluntàriament.

Gràcies a ells podem oferir els nostres continguts en obert per a tothom. Ens ajudes tu també a ser més forts i arribar a més gent?
En aquesta pàgina trobaràs tots els avantatges d'ésser subscriptor de VilaWeb, a què tindràs accés a partir d'avui.