A person walks by the Franco family burial space adorned with flowers in the Almudena Crypt, a cavernous late-19th century Catholic temple under Madrid's Almudena cathedral, in central Madrid, Spain, Thursday Oct. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul White)

Madrid - The exhumation of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco is set to go forward after the relevant legislation was approved by the cabinet on Friday, said Justice Minister Dolores Delgado.

The final fate of Franco's remains has unearthed old controversies in Spain. Opponents of Franco's rule say his current resting place - the Valley of the Fallen, north-west of Madrid - is too grandiose for a man responsible for the death of so many political opponents.

But those who look back fondly on Franco's rule consider the decision to move his remains as an unnecessary insult, more than 40 years after his death in 1975.

Delgado said Franco's family now has 15 days to decide where the remains should go.

After the law allowing the move was approved by the legislature last year, the family had said it would pick Almudena Cathedral in central Madrid. But the government has ruled that out, saying it fears the cathedral could become a pilgrimage site for those who support Franco and his fascist politics.

The family has opposed the exhumation plan.

Franco dedicated the site where he would eventually be buried as a resting place for some 32 000 people killed on both sides of the Spanish Civil War. However, the site is a popular place of pilgrimage for Franco's followers and right-wing extremists.

The question of Franco's remains became more of a key issue last year after the Socialists formed a minority government. That party's backers tend to dislike Franco's legacy, unlike the centre-right People's Party, which was ejected last year after losing a no-confidence vote.

dpa