The ruling conservative Popular Party will expel members who make public displays of fascist symbols, the head of the PP’s Nuevas Generaciones youth wing, Beatriz Jurado, said Wednesday.
The move follows a number of Nuevas Generaciones members displaying fascist symbols on social network sites over the summer, including the national flag in place during the time of the Franco dictatorship and Nazi salutes.
The PP said it had opened a probe to determine the authenticity of the images and found that in some cases users of Twitter and Facebook had falsely identified themselves as members of the party. One of those accused has filed a complaint with the police claiming that his account in a social network site had been hacked.
The investigation identified six cases of PP members using fascist symbols in public, four in the region of Valencia and the other two in Castilla-La Mancha. Two of those in Valencia are serving town councilors. The party said it would initiate legal proceedings to expel those members. Legislation governing membership of political parties grants members the right to a hearing in disciplinary cases.
The PP number two in Congress said a million people had died as a result of the Republican government
The statutes of the PP call for members who damage the image of the party or break the law to be expelled from the party. One of the PP’s top officials, Esteban González Pons, said Wednesday that “those who carry out such stupid acts do not deserve to belong to the PP. I think it’s not on for someone to vaunt being a Nazi and poke fun at people using these symbols. I don´t think they know what they’re doing.”
However, during an appearance on Cuatro television channel, the deputy PP spokesman in Congress, Rafael Hernando, while condemning the use of fascist symbols as “deplorable,” went on to argue that a million people had died as a result of the Republican government prior to Franco’s victory in the Civil War.
Hernando also called on the main opposition Socialist Party to expel members who publicly display the Republican flag, which he compared with the flying of the Franco-era national flag.