When Franco died in 1975 the way was clear for democratic elections. It was a bit touch and go at the beginning as to whether democracy or a continuation of the dictatorship would win out. There was some fancy footwork but, thirty years ago today, the Spaniards went to the polls for the first time for a while.
Thirty years apparently represents the longest period of stable democracy in Spain's history.
A Spanish fishing boat rescued 26 refugees from a sinking raft off the coast of Libya yesterday. They were heading for Spain.
Quite a change in 30 years from some backward dictatorship to a modern European country.