Postcard from... Madrid

 

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The Independent Online

Margaret Thatcher’s legacy extended to unexpected locations yesterday, when a square in Madrid was officially named after the former PM.

Madrid mayor Ana Botella, from the centre-right Partido Popular (PP) party, insisted in her inaugural speech at yesterday’s ceremony, attended by Mrs Thatcher’s son Mark, that the Iron Lady was “one of the key personalities of the twentieth century.” “Many of us find her to be an inspiring personality,” she added.

However, rather like Mrs Thatcher herself, Plaza Thatcher is not to everyone’s taste. Only the PP voted in favour that the square, located in the Salamanca district, be named after the politician.

Nor is the square already on Madrid’s ‘must-see’ list for tourists: previously un-named, modern and unprepossessing, two sides run parallel to broad, noisy, traffic-infested boulevards. The other two are overshadowed by tall business tower blocks. A far cry from the elegant, quiet plazas of, say, Madrid’s old district, just a few minutes walk away.

Opposition parties in Madrid have criticised the alleged lack of links between, as she was widely called in Spain, La Tatcher and Madrid. The fact remains though, that La Tatcher was the first British PM to visit post-Franco Spain, in September 1988.

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