Rue Margaret Thatcher in Paris? Pourquoi pas, some ask

PARIS Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:58am EDT

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (L) talks with French President Francois Mitterrand in the garden of the Elysee Palace in Paris in this November 21, 1986 file picture. REUTERS/Pool

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (L) talks with French President Francois Mitterrand in the garden of the Elysee Palace in Paris in this November 21, 1986 file picture.

Credit: Reuters/Pool

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PARIS (Reuters) - Right in the heart of Paris, sandwiched between the Champs-Elysees and the River Seine, sits Avenue Winston Churchill.

So why not a Rue Margaret Thatcher, some French politicians are asking.

A conservative city councilor, Jerome Dubus, will propose that the French capital pay homage to Britain's outspoken former prime minister by naming a street after her at the next council meeting this month. Thatcher died on April 8.

But in a country where centuries-long tensions with its neighbor across the Channel linger - the avenue commemorating Britain's role in World War Two notwithstanding - the idea is not without its critics.

The president of the council's communist and far-left party, Ian Brossat, countered with a proposal to rename a square or street for Bobby Sands, the IRA prisoner who died in a 1981 hunger strike in protest over British rule in Northern Island to which Thatcher refused to yield.

"Lacking any personality and a leader, the UMP (conservative party) is looking for its good fairy in the past, and across the Channel," Brossat wrote in a short statement.

The Paris suburb of St. Denis already has a short street named for Sands in a cluster of streets named for former Socialist and Communist politicians, members of the French Resistance and poets. Avenue du President Wilson, in honor of the United States' World War One-era President Woodrow Wilson, is not far away.

Thatcher's death has divided public opinion in Britain, where opponents of her free-market ideology have spoken against the blunt politician dubbed the "Iron Lady.

In London, government ministers have proposed erecting a statue of Thatcher in city landmark Trafalgar Square, whose central column honors the 1805 naval victory of Lord Nelson ... over France.

(Editing by Mark John and Sonya Hepinstall)

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Comments (4)
GA_Chris wrote:
in the words of Monty Python… “and much hilarity ensued”

Apr 11, 2013 9:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
karlsefni wrote:
Doesn’t anyone proofread this crap?

Apr 13, 2013 6:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
karlsefni wrote:
Doesn’t anyone proofread this crap?

Apr 13, 2013 6:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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