Tag Archives: transition

Transition? What Transition?

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The Garzón fiasco continues to rumble on, with the politicians and judiciary both taking sides in the dispute.

The Supreme Court seem to have hatched a plan to try and destroy the investigation into the Gürtel Case for once and for all. Their plan is: remove Garzón and you remove the problem. Not only that, Garzón has also been digging up problems from the Francoist dictatorship that the right had long thought buried. Getting rid of Garzón would eliminate the risk of him trying to drag ex-members of Franco’s political class before the judge. Of course it would also mean deposing one of the most tenacious magistrates that Spain (and the world) has in pursuing terrorists and international war crimes. Some people, it seems, have a lot to lose.

Let’s not forget that the UN has made it clear that it has serious concerns about the way in which the dictatorship is being dealt with in Spain. It is in no way acceptable that a forward thinking country that brands itself strongly internationally should still have thousands of people buried in unmarked graves. It goes against human rights, religious belief and above all, human dignity. Countries in South America have been far better examples of how to reconcile a country’s present with its past, through the use of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. In Spain, the only organisation is the grassroots NGO ‘Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica’, which is doing a fantastic job despite limited resources and even less political support.

Consequently, to prosecute Garzón is to strike a blow against all of those bodies lying in common graves. To accuse him of prevarication is a downright disgrace. If we can prosecute criminals from the Second World War, why can’t crimes from the dictatorship be denounced?

Here’s an idea that no one’s going to like. There never was a transition in Spain; it was simply a myth to pacify the population. Some of the mechanisms of power changed: elections, parliament, laws, government etc, but the true power, of the political class and above all, the judiciary, still lies in the same hands that is always has done. The real power has never changed hands. The rich Francoists are still rich. Fraga is still the ceremonial head of the PP. The current system is just a loosened version of the dictatorship with a new face. The money has never moved. The oligarchic system hasn’t changed.

The politicians have taken sides and it’s now time for the people to do so. 61% of the people surveyed by El País believe that Garzón is being hunted down specifically. It’s now time for the people to show their support on the streets, demonstrate their desire to see justice and the defence of human rights, and to reject the oligarchic system of hidden interests and alliances that damage Spain not only internally, but also on the international stage.