French left slams proposal for 'Thatcher Street' in Paris

PARIS (AFP) - Left-wing politicians on a Paris city council have slammed a proposal to name a street in the French capital after the late Baroness Margaret Thatcher, suggesting instead that one be named after IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands.

City councillor Jerome Dubus of the right-wing UMP party has said he will propose naming a street after Lady Thatcher, the Conservative former British prime minister who died on Monday, at an upcoming city council meeting.

But councillor Ian Brossat, of the Communist-backed Left Front, denounced the move and said the city would do better to honour Mr Sands, the Northern Irish prisoner who died in a 1981 hunger strike while Lady Thatcher was in office.

"The cynicism of the Parisian right knows no bounds," councillor Brossat said. "Jerome Dubus's proposal is a joke."

Describing Lady Thatcher as the "apostle of British ultra-liberalism, who left an appalling legacy for the state and the working classes", councillor Brossat said it would be better to name a street after Mr Sands, whom he said Lady Thatcher "allowed to die of hunger with other prisoners". Several French cities already have a Rue Bobby Sands.