The State becomes the custodian of the assets of the Pazo de Meirás and the government is already preparing their return

Updated: Friday, December 4, 2020 5:36 PM

Published on: 12/04/2020 17:03

The first vice-president of the government, Carmen Calvo, plans to meet on December 9, a day before the handover of the Pazo de Meirás to the state decreed by justice, with the highest Galician leaders to discuss the return of the complex. As laSexta has learned, Calvo will meet with the President of the Xunta, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the President of the Provincial Council, Valentín González, and the Mayor of Sada, Benito Portela, to assess and agree on the stages of this process.

The government made the announcement just hours after learning that the Spanish state had become the custodian of all property and accessories found at the scene. This was decided in a car by the first instance court of La Coruña, the same which found on September 2 that the complex did not belong to the dictator’s family, but to the public administration.

In this way, the judicial body accepts the allegations of the town halls of Sada and A Coruña, the Provincial Council, the Xunta de Galicia and the State itself concerning the content of the property. Of course, without prejudice to the possibility of authorizing the removal of these objects “of strict personal use or which, because of their characteristics, do not contribute in any way to the importance of the pazo as an asset of cultural interest and whose withdrawal does not compromise the possible final uses that they decide for the pazo “.

In the order, the Head of the Court, Judge Marta Canales, explained the reason for the decision to ban the removal of property and accessories from the mansion without first notifying the family: “The emergency arises when the warned, saying that they are leaving to voluntarily surrender the mansion, before that they want to proceed with the transfer of the goods in 50 trucks, which are undoubtedly many trucks, which resulted in a dump of nobody knew what. ” Thus, he appreciated the importance of knowing “what existed in Meirás” before “all kinds of unknown goods” were transferred.

“If the protective measures had not been adopted – continued the magistrate – it would never be possible to accept a future decision; it could never be debated whether, for example, a shield is incorporated or not in the execution and ownership of the state, because the assets would have simply and quite simply disappeared. Therefore, the measures are precautionary, urgent and without hearing. “In this sense, Canales looked into this question to emphasize that once the inventory of the contents of the mansion has been completed, the State will have to ask itself” what goods it intends to deliver or not “.

The defendant is wrong when he says he was given twenty days to remove all his property “

A state which, for the judge, has made an acceptable filing request because it “conforms to the objective of being able to debate what is part of the execution, in whole, nothing or in part”. On the other hand, he rejected the claims of the Francos against the ban on removing property from Meirás: “The literal nature of the car is clear. Therefore, the defendant is wrong in saying that they were given twenty days to remove all of them. His actions were to voluntarily comply with the decision and, in congruence, the ordinance establishes the duration of voluntary compliance.

In this way, both the property and its contents will be under government control until there is a final judgment on the property. The court also decided to give the guards of the enclosure a period of several weeks, extended until January 15, 2021, to leave the premises. However, it is necessary to emphasize that this is a judicial decision against which an appeal can be lodged in the Provincial Court of La Coruña.

A convulsive process to own the Pazo

Since the start of the castle ownership lawsuit, the dictator’s family have tried everything they can to preserve the compound, as well as its contents, engaging in a bitter struggle with the government to settle the rights to the Pazo. In 2017, a commission of experts was set up to assess the possible reincorporation of the complex into the public heritage. A year later, the government, with the support of the Galician Parliament, took legal action against the dictator’s family to get him back.

The state bar based its defense on a purchase deed dated August 3, 1938 by which it wanted to demonstrate during the trial that the purchase of Meirás by Franco had been carried out through an irregular process. This document showed that the contract of sale of the complex, signed in 1941 by Franco, was “fraudulent” and a “simulation”, since it had already become his residence after having acquired it at a popular cost, not without controversy.

This collection was precisely the evidence presented by Franco’s defense to confirm ownership of the property, arguing that it was a “generous donation” – as claimed by the Francisco Franco Foundation – from neighbors. Galicians, and not the result of “looting” of them through the so-called “Pro-Pazo del Caudillo Provincial Council”. This organization, created in 1937, sent a letter to all municipal councils in the province of Coruña explaining how they should get these neighbors to give their “donation” for the purchase of the Pazo de Meirás.

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