Gaia 10


Technocrats prevailed and the members of Opus Dei got important positions in Franco’s 1957 gabinet. Opus Dei didn’t support political liberalization but it wanted a economic integration with Europe, which meant that Spain would be exposed to democratic influence. The measured proposed by technocrats were established in the Stabilization Plan (1959): to curb inflation, to reduce goverment economic controls, to adapt Spanish economic policies and procedures to European standards. This was the start for the transformation of Spanish economy in 1960 and in those years the industrial production and the live standards increased a lot.

There was a lot of foreing investment due to the low costs of production and the lack of trade union freedom. Spain launched a process of industrialization which affected to Catalunia, Basque Country and even Madrid and Valladolid. The tourism grew a lot fastly. The measure of 1959 and the freedom of go out the country led workers leave the country due to job opportunities. This carried to the emigration of 250.000 Spaniards and to a rural exodus from rural areas of Spain ( Galicia, Andalucia…)

The commercial opening plus the low competitiveness of Spanish economy led Spain to bought more than it sold (Chronic deficit in the balance of trade). This was financed by the entry of capital of the tourism boom, remittances sent by the Spanish workers who worked outside and foreing investment. This transform spain into a country in fast industralization.

Economic expansion resulted in a better educated middle class, as well as in new urban working class. The foreing cultural influence had a great impact in the Spanish society.  These factors carry dissatisfaction with the restrictions that franco imposed. 


The Anti-Franco Dictatorship Forces:

Economic prosperity did not eliminate hostility towards Francoism, even so the oppressive regime resulted in growing domestic opposition in the 1960s.

When expanding industrial labor, workers clandestine organized commissions (CC.OO), which organized regional violent protests in Catalonia and the Basque Country, which caused agitation among university students and opposition among some groups within Francoism (younger liberal priests). Because of this, Vatican II Concilium made renovating movements in the church, creating a crisis in the national-Catholicism.
This opposition did not affect Spain’s stability because Franco, in a period of economic growth and prosperity, solidified his regime, by approving by referendum in 1966 the organic law of the state, the law in religious freedom (1967), and press law (1966), and naming as his successor Prince Juan Carlos de Borbón (1969).
3. Late Francoism crisis:
The nationalist of the basque country acted in opposition too, and it must be highlighted the birth of ETA (1959), and later FRAP and GRAPO. When in a trial in Burgos (1970) 10 members of ETA were sentenced to death, great protests arose.
The response of the regime was always repression: councils of war, states of exception, executions… In fact, the execution of the communist Julián Grimau (1963), and the 1001 trials against members of CC.OO (1973) must be highlighted as examples.
The closing years of Franco were marked by violence and unrest as there were conflicts between those who wanted reforms and those of the “bunker” who resisted the reforms. Because of this there was an economic recession in the late 1960s with labor agitation, strikes, rebellion in the universities etc; all that was made in order to proclaim a state of exception (1969 january-march) which revived dictatorial policies.

The international context had also a big impact, as Portugal and Greece, the last dictatorships of the continent, were defeated. Also, in 1974 and 1975, Franco’s illness prevented him from governing. National and international protests continued against the regime after some ETA and FRAP members were condemned to death. In the Sahara, the Frente Polisario (1973) looked for independence, and it was in this context that Franco signed the treaty of Madrid with Morocco and Mauritania in order to give up the colony.
In the remaining years of Franco’s rule opposition will be intensified to which the government responded with harsh measures. The most virulent opposition was the revolutionary Basque nationalist movement, which used terrorist tactics (ETA). This terrorist group murdered the current prime minister, Carrero Blanco, which strengthened the crisis. Blanco’s successor was Arias Navarro (1974), with whom the conflicts continued.
The opposition to the regime continued (1974-1975) and the Basque region because of its terrorist activity was put under martial law in april 1975.
When Franco died on the 20th November 1975, Spain underwent a chronic state of crisis. These last decades, economic and social transformations were complicated with tensions. Change was inevitable and the form it would take was uncertain.
ETA: Euskadi Ta Askatasuna
FRAP: Frente Revolucionario Antifascista y Patriota
GR APO: Grupos de Resistencia Antifascista Primero de Octubre