ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Leg-up for Textile Exports

Change in Spain DESPITE pressures from the workers, the students, the teaching community and even the radical clergy, changes in Spain come slowly. Workers have been put in the strait-jacket of government unions and dissidents given short shrift; student riots have been put down, teachers asking for academic freedom dismissed and the clergy has been told not to transgress its boundaries of legitimate action. But neither repression, overt or covert, nor more subtle persuasive tactics have succeeded in Spain in keeping popular demands for more freedom firmly under the lid, General Franco has consequently decided to be a little more accommodating towards democratic sentiments than hitherto. He has even gone so far as to concede that Spain can have a Prime Minister! Since Franco came to power in 1939 over the dead bodies of millions of his countrymen, Spain has had no Prime Minister. Now Franco has decreed that there shall be one; he is to be chosen by the head of state from a list of three proposed by the Council of the Realm, a nondescript body whose constitution itself is now scheduled for change. Along with the Council of the Realm, the Cortes (Parliament) too will have a fresh blood transfusion. According to a new law, the Cortes will consist of a hundred deputies, Spain's fifty provinces electing two each, the electorate consisting solely of heads of families and their wives. In addition, Spain is to have a National Council of the Movement charged with channelling "contrasting opinions"; this, surely is an euphemism for putting down all dissenters. The Movement has always been Falangist in the past, with Franco's henchmen at the helm and it is not likely to lose its character under a new name or a new set of rules.

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