Spain has always (quite rightly) had an admiration for the Iron Lady, and now she has been honoured with a new square named after her, right in the centre of Madrid.
Plaza Margaret Thatcher is just off the Paseo de la Castellana, behind Plaza de Colón, a newly built square on some reclaimed land by the townhall.
Ana Botella (Mayor of Madrid) and Esperanza Aguirre (Madrid PP party president, and the closest thing Spain has ever had to the Iron Lady) were both at the unveiling, and both had long eulogies for Margaret and “thatcherismo”.
Espe, currently involved in a spat over a recent driving incident in which she drove over a coppers foot, spoke at length on the great things Margaret had done, such as financial deregulation, labour market shakeup, privatisation of public companies and breaking the power of the unions. And Ana (she of the ‘relaxing cup of café con leche in the plaza mayor’ fame) spoke of Margarets “belief in freedom, in individuals, in liberty, in justice”.
Simon Manley, British Ambassador to Spain, thanked the townhall of Madrid for the “honour paid to one of the great leaders of 20th century” and reminded us all of Margaret’s “passion for a free Europe, and her defence of Europe against the threat of Soviet Russia”.
They then all went off for tea, and, I assume, the usual bunch of bored teenagers with tins of spray paint moved in to trash the place, same as they do everywhere else.