Ruiz Giménez, Joaquín

Ruiz Giménez, Joaquín
b. 1912, Hoyo de Manzanares (Madrid)
   One of the "historic" leaders of the moderate opposition to Francoism, Ruiz Giménez began his political career in the service of the Franco dictatorship in its National Catholic phase, as Ambassador to the Holy See and Minister of Education (see also National Catholicism). After a crisis of student unrest in 1956, he was dismissed from the latter post, and began his move towards the opposition. The move was inspired in part by Pope John XXIII, with whom Ruiz Giménez had close contacts, and took the form of involvement with the social Catholic group Izquierda Democrática (ID—Democratic Left). In 1963 he established the magazine Cuadernos para el Diálogo, which became one of the most important foci for non-communist opponents of Franco, with contributions from moderate socialists as well as Christian Democrats. In February 1964 Ruiz Giménez severed his last ties with the Franco regime by resigning from his parliamentary seat. The increasing involvement of the left in Cuadernos reflected his move towards a more radical opposition to Francoism, which led to tensions between ID and more conservative Christian Democrats associated with the Tácito movement. This division was confirmed by Ruiz Giménez's decision to join the socialist PSOE in the Plataforma de Convergencia Democrática (Platform for Democratic Convergence), an opposition alliance committed to the immediate dismantling of the Franco regime and the establishment of a provisional government to construct a new democratic state. This uncompromising position was rejected by a number of more conservative members of ID, such as Oscar Alzaga and Fernando Alvarez de Miranda, who preferred to support the Tácito movement's attempt to bring about a more gradual democratic reform from within the state structure. The Plataforma later joined forces with the communist-led Junta Democrática (Democratic Council) to form the so-called Platajunta, from which Ruiz Giménez emerged as a representative prepared to negotiate with Adolfo Suárez's reformist government.
   The period approaching the 1977 elections marked his decline as one of the most important figures in the Spanish political centre. The Christian Democrat formation formed by ID in coalition with Gil Robles" Federación Popular Democrática (Popular Democratic Federation), the Equipo de la Democracia Cristiana (EDC— Christian Democratic Team), was comprehensively outmanoeuvred by Adolfo Suárez, who had integrated conservative Christian Democrats into his centreright UCD. Aware that Suárez's popularity and control over the state machinery would make him impossible to beat, Ruiz Giménez tried to persuade Gil Robles to ally with Suárez to give Christian Democrats greater weight within the UCD. Gil Robles refused, and the EDC stood alone in the elections, failing to win a single seat. This was the effective end of Ruiz Giménez's political career, although he did occupy the post of Defensor del Pueblo from 1982 to 1987.
   Further reading
   - Alvarez de Miranda, F. (1985) Del contubernio al consenso, Barcelona: Planeta (autobiography which details the history of the Christian Democratic opposition to Franco and its reorganization in the transition period).
   - Carr, R. and Fusi, J.P. (1979) Spain: Dictatorship to democracy, London: Allen & Unwin (outlines Ruiz Giménez" activity in the opposition to Franco).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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