Ilivetolearn's Blog

November 23, 2005

streetnames…Franco

Filed under: gender,Spain — ilivetolearn @ 1:13 pm

Since Pozuelo is such a new suburb, and so carefully planned, the streets in most of the town are logically laid out and named. Driving around reading street signs is like a Spanish vocabulary lesson: there are clusters of streets named for countries (some of which have smaller streets named for their capitals running perpendicular), and a section named for gems and minerals (Esmeralda, Amatista, Diamante, Rubi, Zafiro, Turquesa), and of course our own part of town with names of planets (we are Urano, parallel to Jupiter and Mercurio) and heavenly bodies. Unfortunately the main thoroughfares are not as regular and tend to change names at random…Avenida de Juan XXIII, for example, turns into Avenida del Generalisimo. How can they have Pope John the 23rd and Franco sharing pavement? Doesn’t seem proper.

This is the 30th anniversary of Franco’s death (Nov. 20) and Juan Carlos’s official succession to the throne (Nov. 22). Each event was marked by ceremony, mostly quite civil, but with some protests and counter-protests happening. There are still supporters of Franco who gathered by the thousands at his tomb Sunday and shouted anti-homosexual and anti-immigrant slogans, but the general population of Spain seems confident that these remnant Fascists will die off and won’t be replaced one-for-one by the young skinheads. And something like 79% of Spaniards approve of the way the King has helped the country transition from dictatorship to constitutional monarchy. Now all they have to do is change the constitution to allow little Princess Leonor (born last month) to be in line for the throne after her father, the Crown Prince.

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