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Franco exhumation plan causes spat between Spain, Vatican

MADRID (AP) — Spain's deputy prime minister says the government is sending a formal protest to the Vatican after the papal nuncio in Madrid rebuked the government for "resuscitating" Gen. Francisco Franco through its efforts to move the former dictator's remains.

Carmen Calvo, deputy head of the Socialist caretaker government, said on Cadena Ser radio on Monday that the diplomat's comments are "unfair and unacceptable" and amount to "interference" in Spanish affairs.

The nuncio, Renzo Fratini, said in an interview published Sunday with private news agency Europa Press, "as I see it, (the government) has resuscitated Franco" by stirring a public debate over its exhumation plans.

Fratini said, "it would be better to leave him be." The government wants to move Franco's remains from a giant mausoleum to a discreet tomb.

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