Spain in 1976
- March: Opposition forces unite to form a new organization, the Coordinación Democrática, which declares that it will not accept any political system connected with the old Francoist order. Arias Navarro, the successor to Franco is incapable of adapting to the times, but some of his ministers are prepared for greater change.
- March: A general strike in Vitoria in the Basque Country lasts for several days. Police reprisals for protests result in the deaths of three people. Minister Fraga, head of the Ministry of the Interior, is blamed.
- July: Prime Minister Arias Navarro continues to delay reform and is forced to resign by King Juan Carlos. Against all expectations, the King names a relatively young and little unknown Francoist functionary, Adolfo Suarez as Navarro’s replacement. The new Government proposes to dismantle the Cortes and allow workers to organize their own unions.
- August: Suárez begins political contact with the opposition by meeting Felipe González, secretary general of the Socialist Party (PSOE). The strongest party of the opposition, the Communist Party of Spain (PCE), is still out of bounds, with military leaders strongly opposed to the legalization of the PCE.
- Nov 18: Los Cortes (Spanish parliament) approves the Political Reform Bill to establish a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship. The parliament votes to dissolve itself – approved with 425 votes in favor, 59 against, and 13 abstentions.
- 15 December: The Bill is ratified by a referendum with a rate of participation of 77.72%. 94% of voters give their support, despite the boycott by the PSOE and PCE. Elections are scheduled for June 1977, though it still unclear whether all parties (ie the PCE) will be able to take part.
- December 1976, the PSOE holds its 27th Congress in Madrid, though it is still illegal.
El Abrazo, symbol of Amnesty for political prisoners painted by Juan Genovés
A series of serious incidents such as Vitoria, Montejurra and pro-amnesty demonstrations take place throughout the country.
Spanish transition to democracy (wikipedia)