The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez travelled to Paris this week for the 26th Franco-Spanish Summit with his opposite number Emmanuel Macron expressed great harmony.
The two leaders, discussed a wide range of issues not least the upcoming meetings in Brussels on the negotiations of the European Recovery Funds.
In addition they agreed to allowing dual nationality between the two countries, the first such agreement to be incorporated into the Spanish legal system and which reflects the close history between the two neighbours.
More than half a million Republicans exiled in France at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, of whom many resided for the remainder of their lives and settled in the country.
The present mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is one such descendant.
Indeed the French capital’s liberation was led by Spanish soldiers of “La Nueve” or 9th Company of the General Leclerc’s French 2nd Armoured Division in August 1944.
The last survivor of the company Rafael Gomez Nieto died in April 2020 aged 99.
The Spanish Prime Minister and French President visited the grave of Manuel Azaña, President of the Second Spanish Republic who died in exile in 1940 in France.
Spain’s most famous son in French exile was Málaga-born painter, Pablo Picasso who lived in the country until his death in 1973.
The two leaders agreed to create a bilateral committee to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the death of Pablo Picasso in 2023.
In the plenary session of the summit, the Spanish deputy prime minister,Carmen Calvo also presented several initiatives related to the Direct Memory, including the implementation of a Collaboration Agreement on the archives from the Spanish Civil War including recording experiences of exile, resistance, and deportation of those who fled to France at the end of the war.