Lifestyle & Belief

Madrid mayor's English raises heckles; spawns viral videos


Madrid's mayor Ana Botella speaks during the bid presentation during the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 7, 2013.


Fabric Coffrini

While the French have been ridiculed for years for their lack of English language skills, Spaniards have largely gotten a pass despite often being much worse.

Not this week. Madrid's mayor, Ana Botella, is being ridiculed after struggling to answer a question posed in English at an Olympic bid press conference.

A journalist asked her if she thought it was a good idea to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in a country with 27 percent unemployment.

She then started speaking about Spain's infrastructure.

“They haven’t asked about that,” Olympic Committee President Alejandro Blanco warned her as she spoke.

Botella had decided not to wear translation headphones but, flustered, only put them on when she went back to questions in Spanish.

Spanish media has been unrelenting about her answer, her brief English speech and her accent.

One line she said: "There is nothing quite like a relaxing cup of cafe con leche in Plaza Mayor" has already been made a t-shirt on sale in the famous square.

Her husband former right-leaning prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, had also been criticized for his linguistic gaffes in the past.

The speech has become so famous among the Spanish that several DJs have even made remixes of the speech (see below).

Oh and Madrid lost the bid.

And the remixes...