A row is raging over the change of a street name in Palma and Mayor José Hila is right at the centre of it.
Twelve streets in Palma that have Francoist origins are being renamed, including Carrer de Toledo in the La Vileta district of the city.
But that's prompted angry tweets from Toledo Mayor, Milagros Tolón, who’s furious that Carrer de Toledo is being wiped off the map."
”Toledo is a World Heritage City and I have proposed that it continue to have a street named after it in the Balearic capital,” said Tolón who also spoke to Mayor Hila on the ‘phone.
In response, the Mayor explained that the name change is nothing to do with Cort, it was ordered by the Balearic commission in compliance with the Balearic Historical Memory Law to erase all memory of the Franco regime.
The naming of Carrer de Toledo was proposed by the Francoist Management Commission in December 1937 to celebrate the defeat of the Siege of the Alcázar in Toledo during the Civil War. However, Hila agreed with Mayor Tolón that Toledo should have a presence in Palma.
Toledo PP says it will propose that Mayor Hila "be declared persona non grata in the city after removing the name of Toledo from the Palma street map."
Cs Palma spokesperson, Eva Pomar, accused Mayor Hila of mistreating history.
Cs tweeted a photo of Mayor Hila attending the inauguration of Calle Gabriel Rabassa from 2009 when he was Public & Population Office Councillor. That street name has now been removed, because according to the census, after the war “Rabassa was responsible for the militias of the Spanish Falange in the Balearic Islands and a delegate of Culture of the National Movement.”
Palma PP spokesperson, Mercedes Celeste, accused Mayor Hila and his partners of "kicking history by misusing historical memory.”
The Balearic Civil Society called Cort’s decision to apply the Democratic Memory Law to change street names in Palma surprising for ideological reasons, such as trying to eliminate the names of admirals such as Churruca, Gravina and Cervera, who were illustrious sailors, the first heroes in the battle of Trafalgar and the third in Cuba.
Those three changes prompted a harsh tweet from the writer Pérez-Reverte, who called Mayor Hila “an idiot." But Cort explained that the streets were not dedicated to these characters, but to the ships of the Francoist army that bore their names.
The Associació Amics dels Llaços Grisos is opposed to Carrer del Canonge Antoni Sancho in Son Cladera being changed to honour philologist Aina Moll and has proposed that Via Alemanya be changed Avinguda Aina Moll, “because it’s the best known and most central street in the city.”
Some street signs have already been removed, including the ones on Avinguda Joan March which is now called Avinguda del Gran i General Consell.
“A whole series of street names were put in place during the Civil War or immediately after, with the intention of militarising the city,” said Education & Language Policy, Councillor, Llorenç Carrió, “which is why we’re making the changes requested by Parliament."