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World reacts to death of Margaret Thatcher

Politicians react to passing of ex-UK premier credited with restoring Britain's reputation on the world stage.

Last Modified: 09 Apr 2013 05:54
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Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the controversial "Iron Lady" who shaped a generation of British politics, died following a stroke on Monday at the age of 87.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron 

"Today is a truly sad day for our country. We've lost a great prime minister, a great leader, a great Briton.
 
"As our first woman prime minister, Margaret Thatcher succeeded against all the odds, and the real thing about Margaret Thatcher is that she didn't just lead our country, she saved our country. And I believe she'll go down as the greatest British peacetime prime minister."

UK Queen Elizabeth II

"The Queen was sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

Queen Elizabeth also expressed sadness and said she would be sending a private message of sympathy to the family.

John Major, Thatcher's successor as UK prime minister

"Her reforms of the economy, trades union law, and her recovery of the Falkland Islands elevated her above normal politics, and may not have been achieved under any other leader.

"Her outstanding characteristics will always be remembered by those who worked closely with her: courage and determination in politics, and humanity and generosity of spirit in private."

Tony Blair, former Labour prime minister

"Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world. Margaret was such a leader.

"Her global impact was vast. And some of the changes she made in Britain were, in certain respects at least, retained by the 1997 Labour Government, and came to be implemented by governments around the world."

US President Barack Obama

"With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.

"As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And 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."

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso

"She was without doubt a great stateswoman, the first female prime minister of her country, and a circumspect yet engaged player in the European Union. She will be remembered both for her contributions and her reserves to our common project.

"She signed the Single European Act and she helped bring about the single market. She was a leading player in bringing into the European family the central and eastern European countries which were formerly behind the Iron Curtain."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

"She was an extraordinary leader in global politics of her time. I will never forget her part in surmounting the division of Europe and at the end of the Cold War."

Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev

"Margaret Thatcher was a great politician and a bright individual. She will do down in our memory and in history ... Thatcher was a politician whose words carried great weight.

"Our first meeting in 1984 gave the start to relations that were at times difficult, not always smooth, but which were serious and responsible for us both."

Former Poland president Lech Walesa

"She was a great person. She did a great deal for the world, along with [late US president] Ronald Reagan, pope John Paul II and Solidarity, she contributed to the demise of communism in Poland and Central Europe."

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper  

"With the passing of Baroness Thatcher, the world has lost a giant among leaders.

"While many in positions of power are defined by the times in which they govern, Margaret Thatcher had that rarest of abilities to herself personify and define the age in which she served. Indeed, with the success of her economic policies, she defined contemporary conservatism itself."

French President Francois Hollande

"Throughout her public life, with conservative beliefs she fully assumed, she was concerned with the United Kingdom's influence and the defence of its interests.

"She maintained a relationship with France that was frank and honest."

901

Source:
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