Madrid, Spain The government Friday approved a divisive bill allowing reparations for victims of the Spanish civil war and the ensuing dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, some of the darkest chapters of Spain's modern history.
The bill also bans symbols and references to the 1939-75 Franco regime in public buildings and asks local and regional governments to rename streets or plazas that are named after the former dictator or refer to his regime.
"This bill is going to help heal without reopening old wounds," said Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, who announced details of the bill after a Cabinet meeting. She expressed hope the bill would allow Spain "to close with honor a tragic chapter of our history."
The legislation, prepared by an ad hoc government commission, is expected to gain the majority approval required in Parliament. It was uncertain whether it would go before lawmakers by the end of the year.