The Avenida Joan March will have its name changed. | Pere Bota


The administration at Palma town hall is preparing changes of names for various streets that have connotations with the Franco regime and the Nationalists during the Civil War. These changes will be in line with the regional government's census of names, symbols and references. This census was conducted in the framework of the regional law of democratic memory.

The most familiar name is that of Joan March. The census states that the Avenida Joan March name comes from the early 1960s and was in recognition of the banker who was one of the main financiers of the Franco regime and who facilitated war supplies to the rebels (the Nationalists) during the Civil War.

Other names will perhaps be less familiar. They include streets that were named after battles, such as Calle Belchite - the Battle of Belchite was a series of military operations in Aragon in late August and early September 1937. This street has already been renamed Caterina Tarongí.

The town hall's toponymy commission has proposed new names for other streets. The councillor for education and linguistic policy, Llorenç Carrió, says that these will be among the final changes to a process that was initiated when the Spanish government, under the control of PSOE at the time, passed the law of historical memory. The aim, adds Carrió, is "to clean Palma of the vestiges of Francoism which still remain".

The census identified seventeen streets. In addition it listed the monument in Feixina Park, which has been the subject of fierce argument in recent years because of its proposed demolition, and a shield which is on the building now occupied by the CCOO union.