Spain's next rulers cool on exhuming Franco tomb - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Spain's next rulers cool on exhuming Franco tomb

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MADRID (AP) -- The Spanish conservative party that will govern the country as of next month has dismissed a recommendation to remove Gen. Francisco Franco's remains from a politically divisive memorial site as a pointless distraction from the economic crisis.

Popular Party spokesman Esteban Gonzalez Pons said Wednesday that accepting the proposal from a panel named by the outgoing Socialists would stir unwanted debate among people more concerned about Spain's 21.5 percent unemployment rate.

Franco is buried in a basilica at a sprawling site outside Madrid called the Valley of the Fallen.

The panel says the site should be designated as one of tribute to all who died fighting in Spain's 1936-39 civil war, and the dictator's bones do not belong there as he died of natural causes in 1975.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APNP-11-30-11 0920CST

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