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Carlos Arias Navarro

71st President of the Government of Spain
4th of the Francoism (1939-1975)
1st of Democratic Transition (1975-1977)
In office
December 31, 1973 – July 1, 1976
Vice President José García Hernández
(1974-1975)
Fernando de Santiago y Díaz
(1975-1976)
Preceded by Torcuato Fernández Miranda
Succeeded by Fernando de Santiago y Díaz

In office
1965 – June, 1973
Preceded by José Finat y Escrivá de Romaní
Succeeded by Miguel Ángel García y Lomas Mata

Born December 11, 1908(1908-12-11)
Madrid, Spain
Died November 27, 1989 (aged 80)
Nationality Spain
Political party Movimiento Nacional
(1936-1977)
Popular Alliance
(1977-1989)
People's Party
(1989)

Don Carlos Arias-Navarro, 1st Marquess of Arias-Navarro Grandee of Spain, born Carlos Arias y Navarro (11 December 1908 – 27 November 1989) was one of the best known Spanish politicians during the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

He served in the Ministry of Justice since 1929 as attorney in Málaga and Madrid. Arias was close to the right-wing sectors and joined the Francoist side during the Spanish Civil War. He was public prosecutor in the trials set up by the triumphant rightists against true or perceived sympathizers of the Republican side, who were accused of being pro-communists. The repression in Málaga was among the most vicious, with some 20,000 people assassinated by Franco's Nationalists, with or without "legal" sanction [1].

He married María de la Luz del Valle y Menéndez, without issue.[2]

After serving in various positions, including Mayor of Madrid from 1965 to June 1973, he became Minister of Governance in June 1973. After the assassination of the Prime Minister (Presidente del Gobierno) Luis Carrero Blanco he was appointed to that office as the 71st on December 31, 1973, a position he continued to hold after the death of Franco. Carlos Arias Navarro had the support of the Franco family, most notably Carmen Polo, and retained the post during the transition to democracy. However, the execution of the Catalan anarchist Salvador Puig Antich in March 1974 had already shown his aversion political liberalization, while others events, including the executions in September 1974, the organization of the Green March in November 1975 by King Hassan II of Morocco, and the illness and death of Franco which Arias Navarro announced on television), displayed his weaknesses and further eroded his authority.

Franco's successor as head of state, King Juan Carlos I, continued his appointment, so that it was his government (which included Manuel Fraga Iribarne and José María de Areilza) that instituted the firsts reforms, however unwillingly. Seeing himself as Franco's political heir, he tried to continue the late dictator's policies, opposing any change. After a lengthy power struggle, this led to his firing by Juan Carlos I, with Arias-Navarro resigning on 1 July 1976. The next day, he was granted the title of Marquis of Arias Navarro with Grandee of Spain.

He was succeeded by Adolfo Suárez, named general secretary of the Francoist official party Movimiento Nacional in December 1975. In June 1977, during the first free general elections held since 1936, Arias Navarro integrated the Alianza Popular, a Francoist party created by Manuel Fraga. He then led the Búnker group of hard-liners opposed to any reforms, along with the leader of the neo-fascist party Fuerza Nueva, Blas Piñar. Arias Navarro, however, never again occupied a relevant position in the later Spanish government.

Both left and extreme right attacked him, calling him by the nickname "The Old Pusillanimous".

Spain and Portugal

According to the Spanish daily El País,[3] files released by the US National Archives and Records Administration show that, following the left-wing Carnation Revolution coup in Portugal on 25 April 1974, Arias Navarro met with the United States Deputy Secretary of State Robert S. Ingersoll in March 1975 and offered to invade Portugal in order to stop the spread of Communism. The report Ingersoll forwarded to the then-Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, on 18 March, stated that "appropriate steps" were being taken to ensure that "the events in Portugal did not cross the border into Spain."

Ingersoll went on to add that Spain wanted Washington to support Spain in the event of war, precisely at a time when the US was renegotiating the status of its military bases, and Arias wanted Washington to support Spain's future membership of NATO.

Notes

  1. ^ Beevor, Antony The Battle for Spain (Penguin 2006).
  2. ^ http://www.geneall.net/H/per_page.php?id=467686
  3. ^ El País 3 November 2008
Political offices
Preceded by
José Finat y Escrivá de Romaní
Mayor of Madrid
1965–1973
Succeeded by
Miguel Angel García-Lomas Mata
Preceded by
Torcuato Fernández-Miranda (acting)
President of the Government of Spain
1973–1976
Succeeded by
Fernando de Santiago y Díaz (acting)







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