Category Archives: Spain

It Reigns Women Politicians In Spain!

For the first time in European history a nation is being led by more female politicians than male. The new Spanish cabnet sworn in by socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has nine women alongside eight males including Spain’s first female Defense Minister. Spain is the nation whose exaggerated adherence to masculine values added the word, “machismo” to the English language. Under the dictatorial regime of General Francisco Franco, women couldn’t even open a bank account or sign a contract without permission of their husband. The idea a woman could serve in the armed forces was unheard of in Franco’s Spain, but today they constitute 20% of all members of the miltiary. The Conservative daily newspaper, El Mundo, was furious at what it termed, “an exercise in political marketing” that offended the values and traditions of the Spanish military by subjecting its members to be led by a woman!

Prime Minister Zaptero pushed through legislation which prohibits more than 60% of the candidates of any political party from being male or female. As he once described himself, “I am not only anti-machoist, I am a feminist. The most unfair domination is that of one half of humanity over the other. The more equality women will have, the more civilised and tolerant society will be.” Actually, the concept of female political equality is even more engrained in Scandinavian nations where the idea of ‘every second seat” being held by a woman is now accepted practice.

Ironically, America which claims to be a leader in democracy has fallen way behind other nations in terms of female political equality. Ity is doubtful if such legislation as that proposed by Zaptero would ever be accepted by the United States Congress.

Basque Violence In Spain May Escalate

There is considereable concern within Spanish security services that Basque separatists are planning a summer campaign of violence which could include attacks on tourist resorts. During the past weeks there has been an assassination of a former politician and car bombing of a police station. There apparently is determination on the part of Basque leaders to exert tremendous pressure on the government of Prime Minister Zapatero to force accepting their demands. Anti-terrorist police experts believe Eta’s next target may even be the prime minister himself. Zapatero in his first years in office attempted several talks with Eta leaders for a compromise but they invariably ended in failure.

During the past few hundred years, nationalism has triumphed in most parts of the world, but that success has never quelled local feelings by those who stand apart from the sense of national government. The nation of Spain has been around for 500 years, but withing the Basque community there still remain those who seek restoration of what they believe existed prior to the emergence of Spain. The question also is– did that era really exist?

Spain Will Officially Recognize Franco’s Evil Dictatorship

For the first time since the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, a bill will be introduced by members of the Spanish Socialist party to condemn the evil dictatorship of Francisco Franco. The “Law of Memory” will state for the first time that Franco committed atrocities and killed thousands of people without fair trials. The opposition conservative Popular Party opposes the bill because it reopens old wounds and will divide Spanish people. Socialist MP Diego Lopez Garrido noted: “The law will provide a definitive reparation and recognition for those who suffered in the civil war.” In declaring actions of military courts which condemned thousands to death and prisons as “unjust” and “illegitimate,” the law will allow family members to sue for reparations.

For many of us raised in the thirties and forties who hated fascism and Nazism, this law is a long overdue action. Conservatives are correct in stating the law will divide people, but so did American laws which condemned slavery or incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. The price we pay for confronting evil is to make supporters of evil feel uncomfortable. Which is more important — recognizing evil done to people or worrying how perpetrators of evil feel?