Title: [Press conference of the Junta Democrática]
Duration: 30 min., 23 seg.
Sound collection: Radio Paris. Ramírez/del Campo
Summaries: Conferencia de prensa de presentación de la Junta Democrática de España en París, intervención de Rafael Calvo Serer y Santiago Carrillo
At the beginning of the seventies, on the basis of the socioeconomic and cultural changes occurred in Spain along the previous decade, and with the political crisis and the economic stagnation in which the regime was mired since 1969, there was a significant strengthening of the political and sindical opposition, although it was still divided and atomized. That is why the different opponent groups looked for forms of joint action against the Francoism, as well as own global alternatives. In fact, in 1974, and since the "biological fact" (as it was euphemistically called the death of Franco) was imminent, different forces of democratic dissidence sought to accelerate the unity process, with the aim to present an alternative common front to the dictatorship. There was like this two big different political platforms of analogous aim: The "Junta Democrática" and the "Plataforma de Convergencia Democrática".
The first was the Junta Democrática, integrated fundamentally by the PCE, the PSP of Tierno Galván, the Carlist Party of Carlos Hugo of Borbón Parma, Comisiones Obreras, the Partido del Trabajo, different representatives of monarchical tendency near Don Juan, and some independent personalities. Being its main representatives the communist leader Santiago Carrillo, Rafael Calvo Serer (ideologist of the OPUS Dei and former director of the Madrid Newspaper), Antonio García Trevijano, Rafael Rojas-Marcos (founder of the Alianza Socialista por Andalucía ) and José Vidal-Beneyto. Without forget the figure of José Luis de Vilallonga, Spanish aristocrat, writer and actor exiled in France -and close friend of Julián Antonio Ramírez-, whose network of contacts across Europe gave the organisation an international dimension.
The public presentation of the Democratic Commitee took place in a double act, celebrated in Madrid and in Paris, the 30 of July 1974, taking advantage of Franco being hospitalized in the hospital, suffering from a severe thrombophlebitis, and that Prince Juan Carlos had temporarily assumed the Head of State. The act of Paris had as protagonists Santiago Carrillo and Rafael Calvo Serer. In short, they sought the break with the Franco regime, embodied in the articles of its program. Fundamentally, rejection of the succession of Prince Juan Carlos, amnesty for all political prisoners, recognition of all civil, political and civil liberties, separation between Church and State, establishment of a provisional government, and call for a universal referendum for the election of the type of regimen (parliamentary monarchy or republic). The Democratic Commitee had a strong political impact, and was the most active platform and dynamic of the moment, but ir barely managed more support and adhesions that it had in the beginning.
The problem is that many groups were suspicious of the hegemony of the PCE, especially the PSOE, given the existent discord between the two forces since the times of the Civil War. For what the PSOE -renewed after the Congress of 1972- initiated its own political proposal, embodied in June 1975, under the name of Plataforma de Convergencia Democrática, wider and with more support, but less dynamic than the previous. With the PSOE and UGT in the lead, was composed of Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, Nationalists and Communists, with a similar program to the of the Democratic Commitee, but more posibilist and more open to negotiation with moderates and reformers. With the death of Franco on November 20, 1975, the proclamation of Juan Carlos I, and the unstoppable thrust of social and union mobilizations, both platforms decided to merge in March 1976, giving rise to the group Democratic Coordination, known commonly like "la Plata-Junta".
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