MADRID, Spain – The governing council of Spain’s capital city, Madrid, today unveiled the country’s ‘Margaret Thatcher Plaza’, marking the culmination of the first major project following the former British Prime Minister’s death last year.
The project was pioneered by the Mayor of Madrid and wife of former Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar – Ana Botella, in partnership with Conservatives Abroad Madrid, the Spanish arm of the UK Conservative Party, alongside the UK think-tank the Bow Group.
The Plaza is in the centre of Madrid’s metropolitan area, and will be redeveloped this year to feature the new Bank of Madrid building.
The naming ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Madrid Ana Botela, the former President of Madrid Esperanza Aguirre, the British Ambassador to Spain Simon Manly, Mark Thatcher, Bow Group Chairman Ben Harris-Quinney and Chairman of Conservatives Abroad in Spain Jamie Gamell.
Prime Minister David Cameron has also leant his support to the project and has provided a message read out at the ceremony.
“I am so encouraged that The Peoples Party and the Mayor of Madrid are remembering Margaret Thatcher’s enduring legacy in this very special way, and I would like to pay tribute to their commitment and determination in dedicating an area of Madrid to the United Kingdom’s greatest post-war Prime Minister.
“I would like to thank the Mayor and people of Madrid for the Plaza De Margaret Thatcher. It is a great honour for my Party and a demonstration of the close ties between our countries.”
Breitbart London has obtained a full copy of the plans for the Plaza, as well as a full copy of the letter from Prime Minister David Cameron, welcoming the move:
Bow Group Chairman and President of Conservatives Abroad Madrid Ben Harris-Quinney said: “It is an extremely proud moment to see Margaret Thatcher being memorialised eternally in the heart of one of Europe’s greatest cities, Madrid.
“This has been the culmination of a great deal of hard work, particularly by the Mayor of Madrid, but its touching memorial will enshrine Margaret Thatcher’s memory for centuries to come.
“It is, however, a great shame that more has not been done to honour Margaret Thatcher’s memory in Britain, where conservatives should be taking the lead in ensuring that Margaret Thatcher remains a presence in British life and is remembered by future generations. What has been achieved in Madrid must now be urgently replicated in the UK.
“I am confident that with the support of the Prime Minister for this project, and the growing support among MPs, we will soon see London following Madrid’s lead.”
Many of Margaret Thatcher’s former colleagues in government including Lord Tebbit, Sir Gerald Howarth MP, and The Rt Hon John Redwood MP are supporting the initiative in Madrid, and are keen to see Britain and other nations follow suit.
Sir Gerald Howarth MP, former Parliamentary Private Secretary to Margaret Thatcher, said: “Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s greatest peace time Prime Minister who worked tirelessly for a peaceful and prosperous Europe, and I am delighted that she is being honoured by the Madrid Municipal Government.
“My wish is that, as people walk through Plaza de Margaret Thatcher in the years to come, they will remember her unceasing determination for lasting peace in Europe, freedom from oppression and prosperity for all.
“I hope we will now see many more Margaret Thatcher Squares.”
The Rt Hon John Redwood MP, former head of Margaret Thatcher’s Policy Unit, said: “Margaret Thatcher’s achievements were many. It’s not just the fact she was the UK’s first woman Prime Minister, nor merely one of the very few Prime Ministers to win three elections in a row. Mrs Thatcher’s place in history comes from helping the USA win the Cold War, bringing down the Berlin Wall and the Iron curtain which had divided Europe for so long.
“I am delighted her memory is being honoured in Madrid as a fitting tribute to her. I look forward to others wishing to follow Spain’s fine example, in honouring a great fighter for freedom, free enterprise, and independence.”