03:15 GMT24 February 2020
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    MADRID (Sputnik) - The Spanish government will continue works to exhume the remains of dictator Francisco Franco despite legal action, according to a court's statement obtained by Sputnik.

    An administrative court in Madrid has ordered the government to halt the exhumation over safety concerns after Franco’s family resisted attempts to rebury him.

    "The Supreme Court, rather than an administrative court, has the competence to rule on decisions taken by the cabinet […] We believe that the court will change its mind once it has heard out the mayoral office", authorities said.

    READ MORE: Spain's Prime Minister Trying 'Awkwardly' to End Franco's Legacy — Professor

    Spanish authorities adopted a decree on reburial of Francisco Franco's remains in August 2018. According to Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo, the dictator's current burial place "showed the lack of respect for… victims buried [at the memorial]".

    The memorial was ordered by Franco himself in memory of the victims of the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War, won by Franco's Nationalists. Both Francoists and war victims from the opposing side are buried there.

    The memorial in general and Franco's tomb have been reportedly a source of controversy due to the different views on the Franco era. The monumental complex is often visited by Franco's followers and members of right-wing organizations for solemn ceremonies. In particular, the activists regularly visit the memorial on the day of Franco's death.

    Franco ruled Spain from 1936 until his death on 20 November 1975. He was buried at a basilica in the Valley of the Fallen, a shrine to those who died in the Spanish Civil War won by nationalists. The Socialist government has repeatedly pledged to rebury his remains at a more fitting location.

    READ MORE: Word on the Street: Spain Changes Franco-Era Road Names After Notable Women


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