Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Tomás García García 1911-2004

The Andalusian economist Tomás García García, who has died aged 93, spent 37 years in exile between the end of the Spanish civil war and the death, in 1975, of the dictator Francisco Franco. A member of the Spanish Communist party (PCE), García made sacrifices in the resistance; these, and his subsequent willingness to reach historic compromises, contributed to the transition to democracy.
During his years in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico (where he ran the World Federation of Democratic Youth), France and Czechoslovakia, García became one of the PCE's leading intellectuals, publishing numerous books on politics and agrarian economics, many under the nom de guerre Juan Gómez. He joined the PCE central committee in 1952, and its executive in 1956.
After Franco's death, García hurried home to play a key backroom role in the Moncloa Palace negotiations that led to free elections to the 1977 constituent assembly. He was elected to represent Málaga - the constituency that, in 1933, returned Spain's first PCE MP, Cayetano Bolívar - and combined his work on the new Spanish constitution with responsibility for industry and energy policy in the Andalusian regional administration. Returned to the Madrid parliament in the first democratic election, he continued his pursuit of national reconciliation, making firm friends across the political spectrum. He also pressed for the fuller degree of autonomy that Andalucía won in 1980.
García was born in Álora, north of Málaga. He became politically active under the Primo de Rivera dictatorship of the 1920s, and joined the PCE in 1931, while studying for a law degree in Madrid. He then took a doctorate in economics, became a founder of the Communist Youth and was close to the literary circle around Federico García Lorca and Rafael Alberti.
Appointed to the civil service under the second Spanish republic, García remained loyal to the government during Franco's revolt, and ended up in a camp in France before beginning his long exile.
After he retired from public life in 1982, a family inheritance enabled him to create an educational charity for disadvantaged students in his beloved Álora, where the public library bears his name. He retired to the picturesque village of Alcaucín, in Málaga province, where he died at home.
He is survived by his wife, Teresa Azcárate, two daughters and a son.
  • Tomás García García, economist and politician, born 1911; died 9 August 2004
[FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE GUARDIAN, 7 SEPTEMBER 2004. Photo: Partido Comunista de Andalucía]

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