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Readers Blog: Unity has been part of Spain’s stability

I have to take issue with Tom Carew (“The day the Madrid regime killed Spain”, October 3). Mr Carew says the Guardia Civil was inherited from Franco. In fact, that highly-respected police organisation dates back to the 19th century.

It is outrageous that Mr Carew refers to “the Madrid regime” as if Spain is a despotic state. Spain is a democratic nation-state and a member of the democratic European Union.

It also has a constitution which gives autonomy to 17 regions.

National unity has been an essential element in Spain’s stability since the post-Franco transition to democracy.

If the temporary local government in Barcelona rips apart the national constitution at will, then other temporary local governments might be tempted to do likewise.

The result would be Spain returning to the chaos that plagued it before the civil war of 1936-39. Eta terrorism would resurface.

Mr Carew is also inaccurate in labelling Franco as a fascist, though many have done so ever since the civil war.

Franco, in fact, was a conservative military autocrat in the Caudillo tradition of Spain and Latin America since the 19th century (his actual title was ‘Caudillo’).

The Falange party had little real power in Franco’s military, Catholic state, and by the 1960s his government was dominated by Opus Dei technocrats who modernised the economy.

Lastly, Mr Carew refers to Dolores Ibarrui, “La Passionaria”, as “an inspiring heroine”. She was certainly an inspiring orator, but she was also a ruthless communist, as were many of the leaders of the so-called democratic republic that Franco defeated.

Dr Frank Giles

Ballsbridge

Dublin

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