Liberal Democrat European human rights spokeswoman Sarah Ludford has criticised outgoing European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek for honouring Spanish Francoist politician Manual Fraga simultaneously with Czech statesman Vaclav Havel in a joint minute’s silence.
“Havel’s democratic and human rights credentials underpinned his whole life, while Fraga never renounced or apologised for the repressive standards of the Franco regime he served. Linking the two was a cheap trick, presumably to head off an MEPs’ protest.”
“Buzek has done some good work as President, and it is a pity for him to go out on a sour note. But the suspicion that he orchestrated this twinning deliberately to please his political friends is confirmed by his airbrushing of Fraga’s fascist past out of his tribute.”
“The EU was founded as a reaction to the horrors of dictatorship It is an insult not just to Havel’s memory, but to that the millions of people who suffered and died at the hands of authoritarian regimes like Franco’s.”
Notes to Editors
The press release from the European Parliament can be seen here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/20120116IPR35439/html/Opening-tributes-to-Gilles-Jacquier-Manuel-Fraga-Iribarne-and-V%C3%A1clav-Havel
Some examples of Fragas’s continued repressive views are at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fEaQWx2Pfw&feature=youtu.be and http://www.elpais.com/articulo/espana/Fraga/afirma/habria/colgar/algun/sitio/nacionalistas/elpepuesp/20081211elpepunac_6/Tes