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José Antonio Girón de Velasco (Herrera de Pisuerga, Palencia, 1911, August 28 - Fuengirola, Málaga, 1995, August 22) was a prominent Spanish Falangist politician. He was minister of Labor (1941-1957), counselor of the Kingdom's Council and member of the Cortes Generales. He was one of the most heard voices against any kind of changes during the last years of the Francoism, taking part in the political group known as 'the Bunker', for their reluctance to the transition to democracy after Franco's death.

He began his political activities during his university studies in Valladolid. In 1931 he joined Juventudes Castellanas de Acción Hispánica (Castilian Youngs of Hispanic Action), a little political group founded in Valladolid by Onésimo Redondo, that would merge with Ramiro Ledesma's Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista (Unions of the National-Syndicalist Offensive) and José Antonio Primo de Rivera's Falange Española. He fought in the Civil War on the Nationalist side and commanded units of Falange's militias. After the war, he was appointed national delegate of Veterans and in 1941 minister of Labor, when he was only 30. He deployed an intense activity, like the labor institutes for training workers and the development of the social security system (Instituto Nacional de Previsión). He was removed from the Ministry in 1957 according to the liberalizing shift that Franco wished for the Spanish economy (Stabilization Plan). The previous year, Girón has been decreed a salary rising that the Spanish economy could not afford.

During all Francoism, Girón was one of the leaders of Falange and he increasingly showed his disconformity, according to the Falangist principles, to many policies of the regime. Especially, he opposed harshly to opportunism. He yearned for the Falangist 'pending revolution', as the Primo de Rivera's ideas just inspired few policies but Francoism was not really an actual Falangist regime, but a consensus of rightist and authoritarian tendencies. After Franco's death Blas Piñar and he were the natural leaders of the bunker in the Francoist Parliament, and voted against the political reformation (1976) that allowed the transition to democracy.

Bibliography

  • Bardavío, Joaquín; Sinova, Justino: Todo Franco: franquismo y antifranquismo de la A a la Z, Barcelona: Plaza & Janés, 2000
  • Girón, José Antonio: Si la memoria no me falla, Barcelona: Planeta (memoir)
  • Payne, Stanley: The Franco regime, 1936-1975, Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987
  • Preston, Paul: Franco: a Biography, New York: BasicBooks, 1993
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