Former Ambassador of Spain
On 18 September, the European Parliament adopted a joint resolution on the importance of European historical memory for the future of the continent, which expressly condemns the crimes committed by Communists throughout Europe. Its approval has scarcely been echoed in the Spanish media, except, of course, by those on the extreme left, who have rejected it as scandalous.
The resolution considers that “memories of Europe’s tragic past must be kept alive in order to honour the memory of the victims, condemn the perpetrators and lay the foundations for reconciliation based on truth and memory”. Furthermore, it calls on all Member States of the Union to make a clear and principled assessment of the crimes and acts of aggression perpetrated by communist regimes’ by calling on all Member States to celebrate 23 August as a European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism at both national and Union level’, and by pointing out that in some Member States, including our own, monuments and memorials to communist regimes still exist in public spaces.
As historian Guillermo Rocafort has pointed out among us, the approach contained in that resolution, according to which the current Russian authorities have not recognized the crimes of Communism, is not acceptable: proof of this is that last year Russian President Vladimir Putin inaugurated the monument to the writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, thus paying tribute to the most critical writer of the Communist regime within Soviet Russia, stressing that he was a true and loyal patriot.
We will have to see what impact this resolution may have on Spain itself. For the time being, it has been silenced by our major media and it does not appear that the centre and right parties have mobilized in favor of its fulfillment, even though it contains strong historical statements and urges the Member States, including Spain, of course, to adopt measures relating to those statements. It is not in vain that the European Court of Justice has declared that national jurisdictions must take this type of declaration into account when interpreting their national provisions in order to ensure that they are put into practice, which would clearly allow the application of the Law on Historical Memory in Spain to those people from the Popular Front with socialist and communist ideology who caused the civil war, or to request the removal of the symbols related to that period. As usual, our right wing is timid and self-conscious when it comes to defending values and repealing abusive and sectarian norms.
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