Monday, November 05, 2007

If He Is A King, He Must Have A Palace!

Name this building.

Seems quite an easy question for anyone who has spent a reasonable amount of time living in Madrid, it's the Palacio de Telecomunicaciones where we all go to collect our registered letters or parcels that don't fit into our post boxes at home. Well not any more it isn't, this weekend the removal vans have been busy and the building is now the new ayuntamiento (town hall) of Madrid. City mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardón now has a huge new office with views over Cibeles to the Calle de Alcalá and the Gran Via. He felt the old town hall was cramping his style so for a mere €70 million (small change by Gallardón standards), and compensation to the government of a couple of municipal properties, King Alberto gets his palace.

South of Watford decided to do a bit of vox populi and see what the residents of the city thought of the move. Down in the Puerta del Sol we encountered someone who I can only identify as E.A. Questioned on her profession she told me that she is "president of lots of things, really". This is what she had to say:

"I think it's a bleedin' liberty, here I am in a poky, cramped little building on the Puerta del Sol, and off he goes to this enormous palace. Who does he think he is, we'll soon sort him out. Just wait until Mariano does the party lists for the elections, then we'll see how big Mr Fancy Palace Gallardón is!"

At this point I had to bring the interview to a close, the temperature was rising fast and I felt that "E.A" needed a little bit of time to calm down, she was starting to foam at the mouth. So there it is, a new town hall for a new era. Now, where the hell are we supposed to get our letters from?

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