Rue Margaret Thatcher in Paris? Pourquoi pas, some ask

Margaret ThatcherIn London, government ministers have proposed erecting a statue of Thatcher at Trafalgar Square. (Reuters)

A conservative city councillor, 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. Margaret Thatcher died on April 8.

But in a country where centuries-long tensions with its neighbour 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 honour 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 honours the 1805 naval victory of Lord Nelson over France.

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