Der Spiegel, Botella’s Battle: Madrid’s Mayor Chips Away at Debt and Tradition
Ana Botella, 58, the wife of former conservative Prime Minister José María Aznar, has been Madrid’s mayor since the end of December. Before that, she had served eight years as a city councilor, initially for family and social affairs and, most recently, for transportation and the environment. Rather than being elected to the office, Botella inherited it from her predecessor after he was brought into the administration of Mariano Rajoy, a fellow party member who became Spain’s prime minister in November.
Botella inherited not only the office with the best view, a room larger than the Oval Office in Washington, in a 1917 palace that was converted into the city hall at a cost of €500 million, but also the services of a butler whose sole duty is to serve coffee to her and her guests. But she has also inherited close to €6.4 billion in debts.
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