It is the law in France that no street, square, or building may be named after a living person.
Mrs, Thatcher having passed away, a UMP – Union pour un Movement Populaire – councillor, Jérôme Dubus, motioned at a Paris municipal meeting that a street or square in Paris should be named after her: Rue or Avenue or Boulevard, or Place Margaret Thatcher. UMP is on the right, and it is the Party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy. It is no longer in power.
Immediately a FG – Front de Gauche – councillor, Aline Arrouze, made a counter proposal.
She wanted a street named after Bobby Sands, of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, who died in 1981 while being held in Her Majesty’s prison Maze. He died after a 66-day hunger strike over prison conditions and the removal of the ‘Special Category Status’ IRA prisoners had held. Mrs. Thatcher had refused to allow him to be force fed. The FG is, of course, on the left.
Said Deputy Mayor of Paris Pierre Schapira, who is a member of the Socialist Party, at the council meeting: “Bobby Sands died from a hunger strike that he made to denounce his imprisonment in the terrible conditions that Irish detainees faced, in which torture was regularly carried out by the British police. It was a hunger strike that Mrs Thatcher did not wish to bring to an end.”
The Socialist Party is in power in France, and also holds Paris City Hall. But Pierre Schapira, Deputy Mayor of Paris and a member of the Socialist Party, did not want to hear about a rue Bobby Sands.
“Every month there is something new. The last time it was the pope, and then Chavez,” he said, adding that France’s councillors must stop “using the dead for political ends.”
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