Carrillo: crisis is an opportunity

July 5, 2010

Raphael Minder, writing in today’s New York Times, talks about Spain’s economic crisis with two dinosaurs of Spanish politics: Manuel Fraga, Franco’s minister of propaganda in the sixties and later president of Galicia, and Santiago Carrillo, former secretary general of the Spanish Communist Party. For the latter, the crisis provides an opportunity to wipe out the last vestiges of Francoism:

For Mr. Carrillo, on the other hand, Spain continues to be dominated by Franco’s heirs and the Catholic church, so that this crisis should be used to force through a major structural overhaul, not only of labor market rules but also of institutions like the judiciary. “This country is much more polarized than it was two decades ago, and I think the church is largely responsible for this,” he said.

Manuel Fraga and Santiago Carrillo

Carrillo and Fraga further address the status of Catalonia, the proposed ban on face-covering veils, and the case against judge Baltasar Garzón:

Both men had strong views about the judge, who has started working instead for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, a departure that Mr. Fraga welcomed since “he should be kept as far away from Spain as possible.” But Mr. Carrillo praised Mr. Garzón for pursuing a just goal. “Crimes were committed on both sides in the war but not on any comparable scale,” Mr. Carrillo said. “And Franco then jailed or shot any opponent after the war, as well as rehabilitating his dead. That is yet to happen for his victims.”

More here.