Professors Predict No Major Turmoil After Franco Dies
Professors contacted by The Crimson yesterday say they think Spain will not suffer major turmoil following the death of Generalissimo Francisco Franco, but they predict Spain may become a constitutional republic.
Juan Marichal, professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and a native Spaniard, said he thinks Spain will undergo peaceful transition followed by the establishment of a republic similar to the one set up in 1931.
Prince Juan Carlos de Borbon cannot establish a monarchy in Spain, Marichal said, because of the high percentage of liberals in the Spanish bureaucracy, a general desire to avoid another civil war, the implacable leftist sentiments of Basque and Catalan separatists, and the lack of strong monarchist sentiments.
"The young consider themselves full Europeans and would see the monarchy as an anachronism," said Marichal.
Associated Press reported yesterday that Franco had suffered his third heart attack since last Tuesday. In an official statement yesterday, the Spanish government revealed that on Thursday cabinet ministers made government decisions in Franco's absence for the first time.
John Womack Jr., professor of History, said yesterday that he agrees with Marichal that Spain will undergo a peaceful transition after Franco's death.
But though anti-Franco forces appear well organized, Womack said, the army will emerge as the real force in a power vacuum.
"Franco was a lynchpin in a complicated political system, Womack said. "Something theatrical will happen when he dies, but not rioting."
Womack also said international reaction will influence events in Spain because "Franco's death will be the latest development in the gradual break up of a center-right coalition in the Mediterranean."
When told of Franco's condition, Womack said, "I wouldn't be surprised if he turns out to be immortal."
Karl W. Deutsch, Stanfield Professor of International Peace, said a change in government is inevitable in Spain, regardless of Franco's personal health.