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Spain’s far-right Falange group faces hefty fine for public homage to fascists

Spanish authorities on Monday initiated proceedings to sanction the far-right Falange group for organizing public homages to Spain’s fascist leaders.

The secretary of state for democratic memory said acts commemorating Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the fascist Falange, constituted a “serious infraction” of Spain’s new memory law.

Under the law, the group could face fines of anywhere between €10,001 and €150,000 ($10,863-$162,923).

The acts were held around Nov. 20 — the date when Spain’s two most important fascist leaders, Francisco Franco and Primo de Rivera, both died, though decades apart.

During the events, protestors were recorded singing fascist hymns, giving fascist salutes, and praising fascist leaders.

The group also used the annual act to protest Spain’s newly enacted democratic memory law, which aims to restore justice for Franco-era victims.

“No law can stop us from extolling heroes, that’s why we are here,” said Norberto Pico, national head of the Falange Española de las JONS group, at the time.

However, several groups identifying as victims of Spain’s civil war and dictatorship sent legal complaints to the government, calling the blatantly fascist rhetoric at the events “humiliating.”

Spain’s historical memory law, which came into effect last October, outlaws “public acts that disparage, belittle or humiliate victims or their relatives and involve personal or collective exaltation of the military uprising, the Spanish Civil War or the dictatorship, its leaders or participants in the repressive system that supported the dictatorial regime.”

“The act… was impeccable from a legal point of view, so there is no reason that we should be fined, unless they want to invent one,” tweeted Pico of the Falange de las JONS on Monday.

The government says Falange has 15 days to respond to the allegations.

De Rivera was an open fascist and founder of the Falange Espanola, which would go on to play a major role in the early years of the Franco dictatorship.

In 1936, he endorsed the military coup that led to the Spanish Civil War but was killed by Republicans shortly after. After his death, he was praised as a martyr by the Franco regime.

Source: Anadolu Agency