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Spain launches new push to exhume dictator Franco's remains

Published
FILE  - In this file photo taken on Friday, July 13, 2018, people look at the tomb of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco inside the basilica at the Valley of the Fallen monument near El Escorial outside Madrid. Spanish authorities are giving Gen. Francisco Franco’s descendants a 15-day deadline to find a new burial place for the former dictator before his remains are exhumed from a lavish mausoleum it was reported on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. Justice Minister Dolores Delgado says the new location can’t be a crypt under Madrid’s Almudena cathedral, where Franco’s relatives own a tomb. (AP Photo/Andrea Comas, File)

MADRID (AP) — Spanish authorities are giving Gen. Francisco Franco's descendants a 15-day deadline to find a new burial place for the former dictator before his remains are exhumed from a lavish mausoleum.

Justice Minister Dolores Delgado says the new location can't be a crypt under Madrid's Almudena Cathedral, where Franco's relatives own a tomb. She says government studies have found that burying Franco, a divisive figure in Spain, there could lead to "public disorder."

But family attorney Luis Felipe Utrera says the Francos have the legal right to appeal Friday's decision. Utrera calls the government's move "pure propaganda."

The latest push to exhume France's embalmed body from the Valley of the Fallen comes at a critical time for Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who has called a new general election for April 28.

FILE  - In this file photo taken on Friday, July 13, 2018, people look at the tomb of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco inside the basilica at the Valley of the Fallen monument near El Escorial outside Madrid. Spanish authorities are giving Gen. Francisco Franco’s descendants a 15-day deadline to find a new burial place for the former dictator before his remains are exhumed from a lavish mausoleum it was reported on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. Justice Minister Dolores Delgado says the new location can’t be a crypt under Madrid’s Almudena cathedral, where Franco’s relatives own a tomb. (AP Photo/Andrea Comas, File)
FILE - In this file photo taken on Friday, July 13, 2018, people look at the tomb of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco inside the basilica at the Valley of the Fallen monument near El Escorial outside Madrid. Spanish authorities are giving Gen. Francisco Franco’s descendants a 15-day deadline to find a new burial place for the former dictator before his remains are exhumed from a lavish mausoleum it was reported on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. Justice Minister Dolores Delgado says the new location can’t be a crypt under Madrid’s Almudena cathedral, where Franco’s relatives own a tomb. (AP Photo/Andrea Comas, File)