No U-turns. Stay right. These could well be the traffic instructions on Margaret Thatcher street, which, if the majority Popular Party (PP) on Madrid’s city council has its way, will soon be take its place in the Spanish capital’s urban grid.
The suggestion of naming a calle, paseo or avenida after the former British prime minister who died in London on Monday at the age of 87 comes from the arts department of PP mayor Ana Botella’s City Hall team. Also put forward as candidates to have a Madrid street named for them are the Spanish actress Sara Montiel and the writer José Luis Sampedro, both of whom also died this week.
The proposals will be approved by the council assembly on April 24.
The leader of the Socialist Party on the city council, Jaime Lissavetzky, expressed disapproval of the idea of dedicating a street to the Iron Lady as “she did not live in Madrid.” Ángel Pérez of the United left bloc was also nonplussed by the idea, arguing that there were other figures of greater historical importance who had not been honored in this way.
Finally, the centrist UPyD party said it had not decided whether it would support the creation of Thatcher street, but its leader in Madrid, David Ortega, did point out that the late Conservative Party leader “lacked any link” with the capital, while expressing concern over what he called the “politicization of the street map.”