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Spain after Aznar

The bombings put paid to what might have been an interesting legacy

By Dan O'Brien   April 2004

In the first half of the 1970s, as Spain’s dictator of more than three decades, Francisco Franco, was nearing the end of his life, discussion of what would replace his authoritarian regime became intense. There were those in Spain, and abroad, who argued that a history of authoritarianism, an intrusive and inefficient state, and a weak civil society had caused democracy in Spain to fail in the past, and risked doing so again. Jos? Mar­?a Aznar, then a precocious twentysomething whose family background had steeped him in the politics of the right, was also unsettled by the prospect of change.…

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