Spain

Spanish government accused of neglecting Franco's victims

Madrid  - The Spanish government was Friday accused of not providing justice for victims of alleged human rights abuses during the 1936-39 civil war and the
1939-75 dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

The government rejected the charges, with Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega saying it would continue working to "repair the pain" of those who had not been able to "close the wounds" of the past.

However, Emilio Silva, president of an association exhuming remains of Franco's victims from mass graves, slammed Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for saying that the Franco era should "sink into oblivion."

Real Madrid's Cannavaro out for at least a week

Bomb blast at Spanish train stationMadrid - Fabio Cannavaro will be out of action for at least a week after pulling a muscle in his right thigh in Wednesday's Greece-Italy friendly.

Cannavaro, 35, will miss Real Madrid's home game against Recreativo Huelva on Saturday, as well as Tuesday's Champions League clash away to BATE Borisov.

Alarm grows over Russian swoop for Spanish oil firm

SpainMadrid - Concern was mounting in Spain on Friday over a possible Russian purchase of nearly 30 per cent of the country's largest oil company Repsol YPF, with the governing Socialists appearing divided over the issue.

Repsol should remain a "clearly Spanish and independent" company, senior European affairs official Diego Lopez Garrido said amid reports that the Russian oil giant Lukoil was about to become Repsol's main shareholder.

Real Madrid planning to dominate winter transfer market

Real Madrid LogoMadrid - The Spanish property bubble has long since burst, the Spanish economy is entering into recession and football attendances are down - even for flamboyant leaders Barcelona.

Spanish clubs spent around a third less in the 2008 summer transfer market than in 2007, and most clubs have no plans at all to buy players in the upcoming January transfer "window".

All except one, that is.

Reigning champions Real Madrid are planning to dominate the winter transfer market, in the hope of revitalizing a squad plagued by injury and poor form.

Spanish government accused of blocking probe into Franco's crimes

Spain FlagMadrid - A political row has erupted in Spain over attempts to investigate alleged human rights crimes during the 1936-39 civil war and General Francisco Franco's dictatorship, according to press reports Friday.

Far-left parties are accusing Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialist government of having helped to block a judicial investigation into the abuses committed by Franco, whose uprising led to the war. Franco ruled Spain from the end of the war until his death in 1975.

Repsol stocks suspended over rumoured oil deal

Madrid - Spain's stock market watchdog CNMV on Friday suspended trade in stocks of the oil company Repsol amid reports that Russian oil giant Lukoil was about to acquire nearly 30 per cent of Repsol.

The CNMV also suspended the stocks of Criteria, a holding of La Caixa bank, which admitted to being in talks with Lukoil about selling all or part of its 12.5-per-cent stake in Repsol to the Russian company.

Lukoil was also reported to be in talks with the construction company Sacyr Vallehermoso, which holds a 20-per-cent stake in Repsol.

Sacyr stocks rose by nearly 14 per cent after trading opened, on top of a 13-per-cent surge on Thursday. Repsol and Criteria shares dropped by more than 2 per cent.

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