Madrid’s city council yesterday approved a proposal to name a square after former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The local Madrid Diario reports that the council approved the name ‘Plaza de Margaret Thatcher’ for a previously unnamed public space situated in the centre of the city between Goya, Castellana and Marqués de Zurgena streets.
The naming of the square was originally proposed in April last year by the city’s ruling conservative People’s Party. The proposal generated outrage from left-wing opposition councillors.
The newly-named ‘Margaret Thatcher Square’
Explaining the decision, city councillor Fernando Martínez Vidal told Spanish newspaper ABC: “Madrid is a cosmopolitan and open city. Even though they have no connection with the city, our streets are still named after politicians for all over the world, such as Olof Palme [prime minister of Sweden], Salvador Allende [Marxist Chilean president overthrown by Pinochet], Yitzhak Rabin [prime minister of Israel] and Nelson Mandela.”
Mr Martínez described Margaret Thatcher as “one of the most relevant political personalities of the second half of the 20th Century, since she was the first woman to be prime minister of a European democracy, she won three general elections in the UK, and, together with Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, achieved the fall of the Berlin Wall and the return of democracy and freedom to the European continent.”
Plaza de Margaret Thatcher is situated directly opposite the large Plaza de Colón, one the major urban centres of Madrid.