The 60s decade brought a period of economic, cultural, educational development and openness of thinking. But the repression of the dictatorship did not change.

Economic development and urbanization process.

The 1959 Development Plan was highly successful, because in the period of 1960-69, the Spanish Internal Gross Product and per capita rent doubled. Thanks to the economic growth, Spain approached to the European states´ level.

These were some of the reasons for the Spanish economic development: International economic situation was favourable; investment of foreign capitals increased because labour force was cheap; tourism made possible an important income because foreign tourists were attracted by the places and their low prices; labour force (those who were able to work in Spain) made easier the creation of the companies; and State´s investment in public works.

However, the miraculous growth was unbalanced and it was a source for problems in the future: disequilibrium among sectors (industry and third sector developed, but agriculture decreased); a lot of people moved from the countryside to the cities to work in industries (rural exodus); benefits provided by the state (health, pensions, transports…) were poor; tax system was injust and rich people defrauded a lot…

Foreign relations: the attempt to enter in the European market.

In 1957, the European Economic Community (EEC) was created. The answer of Spanish regime was that apparently, they looked down on it but, in the interior, there was an interest. Franco and his ministers showed disdain, but the Opus Dei were very attentive to entering on it because it would be positive for Spain.

In 1962, the Spanish government presented its application to the European community, but the European Parliament rejected the claim because Spain was non-democratic.

Opposition against the regime: new social movements.

At once, with the economic growth, citizens started claiming for democracy. When Spain presented its application to become a member of the European Community, opposition started in order to confront Franco´s regime.

In 1962, about one hundred opponents met at Munich where they signed a declaration in which they denounced the lack of democracy of the Spanish State. Although the Communist Party did not take part in the meeting, Franco said that the Munich Pact has been a Marxist manipulation.

Since the 60s decade, strikes and workers´ protests were numerous. Representatives of workers infiltrated in the vertical union and started producing claims of any kind. In 1962, Workers Commissions (CCOO) were created and soon, they became the most important union in big industries.

Catholic Church denounced the lack of freedom as well. The Bishops´ Assembly criticized the franconist union and they appeared in favour of free unions for workers. On the other side, nationalism strengthened against Franco and in 1959, ETA was created.

Franco´s answer: political inflexibility.

Franco did not like the word constitution, he preferred to talk about institutions:

In 1959, Law of public order was produced to act against those opposing the regime. With this law, a new tribunal, the Tribunal for Public Order (TOP), was created for judging political crimes. Since then, political parties and unions´ leaders were given important sentences, universities were closed and prison sentences were frequent.

In 1966, Franco gave the law of Organic Democracy to leave all political rights under the control of the “Organ” (family, council, union), forbidding universal suffrage, and it refused liberalism, parlamentarism and other political parties.

End of the dictatorship (1969-75).

During the last years of Franconism, there were more problems than ever and the desire of freedom was more evident and citizens asked for changes, not only in economy, but in politics as well.

With the time, mobilizations against the regime were more important, the same as the desire for a democratic society. Those around Franco wanted to assure the survival of the regime after the dictator´s health, but democratic opposition was stronger and they worked hard against the regime.

Opposition strength.

Forbidden unions were stronger than before. As a result, they aimed at obtaining union and political freedom and workers´ strikes became common.

In the 60s decade, Dolores Ibarruri and Santiago Carrillo became the leaders of the Communist Party that became the first objective of the Socio-Political Brigade (Franco´s secret police).

Church opposition.

Bishops wanted to renew the 1953 Concordant in 1973 and, at the same time, state and church started splitting. After that, several priests were sent to prison because they acted against the regime. Part of the church worked in favour of people in need.

Burgos process.

Actions of armed groups became common, mainly those of ETA. In 1970, in the Burgos process, some ETA members were judged accused of a series of terrorist attacks and six death penalties were asked for them.

During the process in the Basque Country and in the rest of the cities of Spain, there were strikes, demonstrations and different meetings and even the Bishops asked for pardon.

The State proclaimed exception states, limiting individual freedoms and putting fines and penalties. Anyway, the repression created a trauma no only in the Basque Country, but in public opinion in general. From that moment on, Franco had very hard opposition against the Basque Country.