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Relatives of Spanish exiles eligible for citizenship

Latest update : 2008-12-30

The sons and daughters of Spanish opposition members, who fled the country to escape the brutality of the civil war and the Franco dictatorship, are now eligible for Spanish citizenship, according to the Law of Historical Memory passed last year.

AFP - Hundreds of thousands of relatives of Spaniards who sought exile from the country's civil war and ensuing dictatorship can apply for Spanish nationality from Monday, an association for exiles said.
   
Under legislation that went into effect Saturday, up to half a million foreigners, many of them living in Latin American countries, can apply for nationality, according to officials and members of the Association of Descendants of Spanish Exiles.
   
The measure particularly targets children and grandchildren of Spaniards who sought exile between July 1936 and December 1955.
   
That period covers not only the country's 1936-1939 civil war but also part of the brutal dictatorship of general Francisco Franco that lasted until his death in 1975.
   
Victims of both periods are recognized for the first time under the Law of Historical Memory, passed by parliament last year.
   
Historians have estimated that half a million people were killed during the war sparked by Franco's insurgency against the democratically elected left-wing Republican government.
   
Others fled.
   
Today, most of their descendants live in such Latin American countries as Uruguay, Chili and Venezuela, with some 300,000 in Argentina alone. Some also live in France.
   
Those who are eligible have until December 27, 2010 to apply for citizenship -- and need not renounce their original nationality, according to the exiles' asociation, which cited the official text of the legislation on its website.
 

Date created : 2008-12-29

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