Instead of being a day of joy, however, it turned into a nightmare when the 50-tonne, 10-metre high cross toppled, spewing rubble into the gathering of townsfolk and reporters, injuring four bystanders.
The demolition licence had been granted on the 26th of April, thanks to the votes in favour of EH, Bildu and PNV in a Plenary Meeting of the Town Council. This was in accordance with the Ley de Menoria Histórica, which orders the removal of all pro-Franco monuments, plaques and street names.
The law also has provisions for public funds to be used to find the victims of Franco that had been driven away during the night, executed and buried in unmarked graves – literally, roadside ditches, but the arrival of the right-wing PP Government of Spain led to serious underfunding making such action virtually impossible.
Furthermore, some PP-lead town councils have fought tooth and nail to prevent street names being changed.
The Rajoy Central Government has also refused to have Franco remains removed from Valle de los Caidos, which was erected as a pharonic mausoleum for him during his lifetime and built under appaling conditions using slave labour. His victims were entombed in the same monument – the ultimate insult.
(News: Larrabetzu, Vizcaya, Basque Lands)