VII. The Contemporary Period, 1945–2000 > B. Europe, 1945–2000 > 6. Western Europe, 1945–2000 > e. The Iberian Peninsula
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1944, May 3)
e. The Iberian Peninsula
1. Spain
Heads of state: Gen. Francisco Franco (1939–75), King Juan Carlos de Borbon (1975–  ).  1
Prime ministers (post-Franco): Carlos Arias Navarro (1975–76), Adolfo Suarez (1976–81), Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo (1981), Felipe Gonzalez (1981–  ), José Maria Aznar (1996–  ).  2
After the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II, Gen. Francisco Franco began moving away from the fascist ideology that had underpinned his regime during its first years in power. Still, policies of economic autarchy were not abandoned until the later 1950s, the political system remained strictly authoritarian, and civil liberties were not fully restored until after the caudillo's death in 1975. The transition to democracy in Spain that took place thereafter was distinct from that of other European nations in that it was a gradual process, with figures from the former regime remaining in positions of military and civilian authority through the 1980s.  3
1945, March 22
Don Juan, the Bourbon claimant to the Spanish throne, called for the resignation of Gen. Franco and the restoration of the monarchy.  4
May 8
Spain broke off diplomatic relations with Germany.  5
May 12
Falangist officials attended a requiem mass for Adolf Hitler. Spain continued to give refuge to large numbers of Germans, despite Allied demands for their repatriation.  6
June 20
The San Francisco (Calif.) Conference on the United Nations Charter excluded Spain from membership in the UN. A similar exclusion was contained in the report on the Potsdam Conference (Aug. 2).  7
July 20
Gen. Franco made changes in his cabinet, filling several government posts with reputedly royalist sympathizers, and stated that the monarchy would be restored at a future date.  8
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.