Tuesday, September 26

Castelló withdraws a post-war Francoist cross between threats from ‘Christian Lawyers’ and criticism from the PP

Last hours of the Francoist cross in Ribalta Park still standing. The Castelló City Council, governed by the socialist Amparo Marco with the support of Compromís, is preparing the work that begins this Wednesday. While the council installs the fences to surround the monument, the ‘Spanish Foundation of Christian Lawyers’ has called a concentration “in the vicinity of the cross” to protest against the removal works.

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The ultra entity has requested by urgent means, within the framework of a new contentious administrative appeal for the alleged violation of the right to religious freedom, the stoppage of the “demolition” of the monument, although it is a transfer. As announced by the Castelló City Council, the Francoist vestige will be handed over to the bishopric of Segorbe-Castelló. In addition, the ‘Christian Lawyers’ have also sued the delegated mayor of Heritage, Pilar Escuder, for an alleged crime of prevarication and have requested precautionary measures to stop the removal of the cross.

The president of ‘Christian Lawyers’, Poland Castellanos, has asked “all the people who want to defend their faith, their history and their heritage, go tomorrow to the Ribalta park in Castellón and not allow them to tear down or destroy the cross”. “It is not a demolition, it is a transfer”, point out municipal sources.

The mayor Verònica Ruiz, of Compromís, considers that it is a “historic day” in which “the works begin to remove the monument to the fallen from public roads”, as she has declared to elDiario.es. “This year marks the 79th anniversary of its construction and we can say that, with its removal, we are working for democratic quality,” she adds.

The plan to move the cross is opposed by the PP, Ciudadanos and Vox. The City Council of Castelló has agreed with the bishopric of Segorbe-Castelló the delivery of the Latin cross, erected in the post-war period in homage to the fallen of the Francoist side. However, the opposition considered that a municipal agreement in the Transition resignified the monument.

The consistory thus culminates one of its government commitments, postponed due to the resources of ‘Christian Lawyers’. After the obstacles of ‘Christian Lawyers’ (they managed to annul the historical memory budget of the Castellón City Council, a resolution finally annulled by the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community), the Municipal Corporation opened a new procedure for the removal of the monument to the fallen. The delivery to the bishopric, which also opposed the change, thus allows the Francoist vestige to be removed without demolishing the cross.

The deputy spokesman for the PP in the Castellón City Council, Sergio Toledo, has denounced that the government team “takes advantage” of the first week of August “to speed up controversial works that he knows do not have the support of the majority of Castellón people” , such as the transfer of the cross from Ribalta Park. For its part, Citizens in the Provincial Council of Castelló has lamented the “witch hunt” with the new law of historical memory.