A book of condolences would be opened at the British embassy in Bulgaria’s capital city, Sofia, after the death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who died on April 8 at the age of 87.
The embassy said in a tweet that the book would be available to sign on April 9 and April 10 between 10am and 5pm. The embassy is at 9 Moskovska Street.
Earlier, the embassy re-tweeted British prime minister David Cameron’s reaction to the news, before posting, in Bulgarian: “One of Great Britain’s worthiest leaders has passed away. Margaret Thatcher is an inspiration to all women who embark on the difficult road of politics.”
Thatcher’s role in the events that brought about the downfall of communism in Eastern Europe have made her a popular figure among many Bulgarians.
Bulgaria’s caretaker Prime Minister, Marin Raykov, in his condolences letter to Cameron said that Thatcher was “among those individuals, who, through their faith in democratic principles, changed the course of history and led to the the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism.”
“To those of us on the other side of the Iron Curtain, that meant being free, for which baroness Thatcher has an indisputable contribution. She strongly believed in everyone’s right to be free, in everyone’s right to have a choice,” he said.
She was less of an icon in Western Europe, where she often clashed with European Union officials over the expanding authority of the EU.
European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said in a statement that he was saddened by the passing of “a great stateswoman”, who would be remembered “for both her contributions to and her reserves about our common project”.
“She was a leading player in bringing into the European family the Central and Eastern European countries which were formerly behind the Iron Curtain. As you remember, Britain under Mrs Thatcher’s leadership was very supportive of the enlargement of the European Union,” Barroso said.
European People’s Party president Wilfried Martens said that “although we had very different visions for the future of Europe, we developed a close personal relationship and shared many special moments […] She will always be remembered by her strength, courage and decisiveness.”
US president Barack Obama said in a statement that “the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. […] As an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.”
(British flag flown at half mast at the Foreign Office building in London. Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office/flickr.com)