Carlos Arias Navarro

Carlos Arias Navarro

Infobox_Prime Minister
name = Carlos Arias Navarro
nationality = Spain

order = 71st President of the Government of Spain
4th of the Francoism (1939-1975)
1st of Democratic Transition (1975-1977)

term_start = December 31, 1974
term_end = July 1, 1976
predecessor = Torcuato Fernández Miranda
successor = Fernando de Santiago y Díaz
office2 = 145th Mayor of Madrid
salary2 =
term_start2 = 1965
term_end2 = June, 1973
predecessor2 = José Finat y Escrivá de Romaní
successor2 = Miguel Ángel García-Lomas Mata
office3 =
salary3 =
term_start3 =
term_end3 =
president3 =
predecessor3 =
successor3 =
birth_date = birth date|1908|12|11
birth_place = Madrid, Spain
dead =
death_date = death date and age|1989|11|27|1908|12|11
demise_place = Madrid, Spain
spouse =
party = Movimiento Nacional
Popular Alliance
People's Party
vicepresident = José García Hernández
Fernando de Santiago y Díaz

Carlos Arias Navarro (Madrid, December 11, 1908 – November 27, 1989) was one of the best known Spanish politicians during the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

He served in the Ministry of Justice since 1929 as attorney in Málaga and Madrid. Arias was close to the right-wing sectors and joined the Francoist side during the Spanish Civil War. He was public prosecutor in the trials set up by the triumphant rightists against true or perceived sympathizers of the Republican side, who were accused of being pro-communists. The repression in Málaga was among the most vicious, with some 20,000 people assassinated by Franco's Nationalists, with or without "legal" sanction [Beevor, Antony "The Battle for Spain" (Penguin 2006).] .

After serving in various positions, including mayor of Madrid, he became Minister of Governance in June 1973. After the assassination of the Prime Minister ("Presidente del Gobierno") Luis Carrero Blanco he was appointed to that office, a position he continued to hold after the death of Franco. Arias Navarro had the support of the Franco family, most notably Carmen Polo, and retained the post during the transition to democracy. However, the execution of the Catalan anarchist Salvador Puig Antich in March 1974 had already shown his aversion political liberalization, while others events -- the executions in September 1974; the organization of the Green March in November 1975 by King Hassan II of Morocco; and the illness and death of Franco which Arias Navarro announced on television) -- displayed his weaknesses and further eroded his authority.

Franco's successor as Head of State, the king Juan Carlos I, continued his appointment, so that it was his government (which included Manuel Fraga Iribarne and José María de Areilza) that instituted the firsts reforms, however unwillingly. Seeing himself as Franco's political heir, he tried to continue the late dictator's policies, opposing any change. After a lengthy power struggle, this led to his firing by Juan Carlos I, with Arias Navarro resigning on July 1, 1976. The next day, he was granted the title of Marquis of Arias Navarro with Grandee of Spain.

He was succeeded by Adolfo Suárez, named general secretary of the Francoist official party "Movimiento Nacional" in December 1975. In June 1977, during the first free general elections held since 1936, Arias Navarro integrated the "Alianza Popular", a Francoist party created by Manuel Fraga. He then led the Búnker group of hard-liners opposed to any reforms, along with the leader of the neo-fascist party "Fuerza Nueva", Blas Piñar. Arias Navarro, however, never again occupied a relevant position in the later Spanish government.

Left and extreme Right both attacked him: calling him by the nickname: "The Old Pusillanimous".


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