EXILES DESCENDANTS OFFERED PASSPORTS

The government announced last week that descendants of Spaniards who left the country for fear of political persecution between 1936 and 1955 will now be able to apply for nationality before 2011. The decision will affect an estimated 500,000 children and grandchildren seeking to return. That number is believed to include 300,000 people in Argentina alone. The measure is part of Historical Memory law passed last year that aims to compensate and rehabilitate victims of the 1936-1939 Civil War. Elderly former members of the International Brigades, the collection of anti-fascists who travelled to Spain to fight Gen Franco’s forces, will also be eligible for citizenship under the new law, without giving up their original nationality as was required in the past.

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