Vicenç Villatoro’s Diary

August 3: The complaint

These officers, on active duty during the 1970s, were one of the signing parties to Spain’s Political Transition contract

A large group of Spanish military officers —now retired— who were on active duty during the Political Transition period after General Franco’s death have released a statement calling to respect the memory of the Spanish dictator.

The document is more reminiscent of a complaint lodged over the breach of a contract than of an ideological proclamation. As it happens in such cases, they claim to have honoured the deal while the other signing party hasn’t.

These officers, on active duty during the 1970s, were one of the signing parties to the [tacit] contract for Spain’s Political Transition. Even though they had the upper hand, they grudgingly allowed political parties to be made legal, free elections to be held and the exercise of basic liberties. In exchange for that, the Franco regime would not be subjected to scrutiny. Not only would the regime’s misdeeds go unpunished, but their consequences —and any privileges derived from them— would be accepted as a matter of course. Therefore, nobody would be held to account for their past actions, the monarchy would not be voted on and Spain’s unity, as they understand it, would be sacred.

Their complaint comes now that they are possibly getting the feeling that the compensation offered to them back in the day, in exchange for showing tolerance towards the new regime, is in jeopardy, to some extent. And so they urge the other party to keep their side of the bargain, a deal which a sizeable number of people do not wish to be eternal.

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