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December 22, 2014
Sunday, March 23, 2014

Post-Franco PM Suárez passes away in Spain

An undated picture shows Spain''s former Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez in Madrid. The former Spanish prime minister who led post-Franco Spain to democracy, 81-year-old Adolfo Suarez, died on March 23, 2014.

Former prime minister Adolfo Suarez, who steered Spain through one of the most turbulent periods in its political history after the death of dictator Francisco Franco, died today at the age of 81, state television reported.

Suarez was hospitalised on Monday with a respiratory infection. He had suffered from Alzheimer's disease for many years.

He was widely credited with building bridges between the "two Spains" after Franco died in 1975 and also standing up to an attempted military coup.

After Franco's death, King Juan Carlos called on Suarez, a young Franquista minister, to try to unite the two factions who were still in a sense fighting the 1936-1939 civil war, and were in many ways further apart than ever after nearly 40 years of fascism exiled thousands of left-wingers.

At the time, his Franquista colleagues called him a turncoat and the main opposition Socialists accused him of opportunism. Most Spaniards now view him as a great statesman who enabled a deeply divided nation to build a new democracy.

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Tags:  Spain  Suarez  Franco  





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