chapter  9
16 Pages

The Beginning of the Post-Franco Era

Soon, a sense of expectation took over which, like the initial reaction, meant different things to different people. The regime’s supporters hoped that the answer to the question, ‘What now?’ would be ‘the institutions’, as Franco and Carrero Blanco had promised. By contrast, those who, at the time of C arrero’s death, had sensed that change was suddenly a real possibility, were equally hopeful that Francoism would not survive its creator. For all of them, the key question was whether or not the Prince of Spain, designated Franco’s political heir in 1969, would carry on where Franco had left off, as he had been groomed to do since childhood. The mouthpiece of the ultra-right-wing National Confederation of Combatants, El Alcazar, affirmed that ‘the laws passed in 1947, 1967 and 1969’ provided the ‘mechanism necessary to fill the void which has occurred in the country’s principal Magistracy’. ‘In this way’, it continued,

the simple application of the law guarantees the continuity of the institutions and the certainty that the words, so often pronounced, ‘Everything is securely tied down’ reflect reality and constitute the last and finest service rendered by the man who ruled over the fortunes of the Fatherland for nearly forty years. At the same time, the political wisdom and intelligence of the Prince, demonstrated throughout his life and especially on the two occasions on which he assumed temporarily the Headship of the State, allow us to feel not only sadness at the death of Francisco Franco, but also confidence in the performance of his successor.4