With no change reported in condition of Spanish head of state, General Francisco Franco, crowds kept their vigil outside the E1 Pardo Palace and, with tension mountings, police units occupied the Madrid University campus on Monday (27 October).
LV & SV E1 Pardo Palace with flags flying (3 shots)
GV People waiting for news of Franco
CU People listen to radio in street
CU People read newspapers
GV Civilian and policemen (Guarda Civil) reading newspapers
GV Madrid University (2 shots)
GV & LV Police and Police Vehicles on university campus (3 shots)
LV Mounted Police troop arrive
LV Police vehicle
LV & SV Mounted police standing beside horses (2 shots)
Initials CL/2207 1600/1700/2200
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Background: With no change reported in condition of Spanish head of state, General Francisco Franco, crowds kept their vigil outside the E1 Pardo Palace and, with tension mountings, police units occupied the Madrid University campus on Monday (27 October).
The latest medical bulletin was brief. It said that the 82-year-old dictator was resting normally in the palace. Meanwhile, a leading Spanish heart surgeon, Doctor Carlos Marquez said in a newspaper interview that General Franco could still recover -- though his chances were not great, his grave heart condition wasn't irreversible.
However, with the sticker General still clinging to life, concern mounted over the gaping power vacuum his collapse has opened in Spain. No major policy issue -- including the pressing Sahara question -- can be taken without his approval. And on Monday the transfer of power to the heir-designate, Prince Juan Carlos still hadn't taken place.
While the people waited, the Guardia Civil -- the tough Parliamentary police -- and other security units moved onto the city's university campus. No explanation was given by the authorities for the occupation. But it was clear, that with one eye on events in Portugal, they wished to be ready for any development.
The major opposition parties, outlawed and repressed for nearly four decade, have adopted a wait and see attitude. They are grouped in two Socialist-led Democratic Platform. When General Franco dies, both groups advocate a complete break with his regime and sweeping political change.