• Spain edition
 
Madrid mayor's 'café con leche' goes viral
A video parodying Madrid Mayor Ana Botella's English accent during her speech to the International Olympic Committee on Saturday. Screen Grab: YouTube

Madrid mayor's 'café con leche' goes viral

Published: 09 Sep 2013 15:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 Sep 2013 15:10 GMT+02:00

Spain is laughing its way to recovery from Madrid's failed Olympic bid by parodying the city mayor's English language speech to the Olympic bosses in which she said there was "nothing quite like a relaxing cup of cafe con leché" in the city's main square.

Despite her apparent linguistic difficulties, Botella made the effort of delivering her speech in English to Olympic chiefs in Buenos Aires on Saturday night.

But the Madrid mayor's unmistakable Spanish accent and some surprising phrases set off a storm of mostly light-hearted criticism, in particular her assertion: "There is nothing quite like a relaxing cup of café con leche (coffee with milk) in Plaza Mayor".

By Monday, T-shirts were on sale at 18 euros ($24) each with a parody of the Starbucks logo, featuring a profile of Botella and the logo: "Relaxing Cup of Cafe Con Leché in Plaza Mayor".

On YouTube, a video of the mayor's speech with mocking, phonetic subtitles of her English drew tens of thousands of views. Her first words "Dear IOC (International Olympic Committee) members, ladies and gentlemen", for example, were subtitled: "Diar Allosi Menbers, Leidisan yentelman".

On Twitter, hashtags that identify conversation topics such as #relaxingcup or #AnaBotella, drew huge numbers of comments.

A fake Twitter account, @Relaxingcup had more than 11,000 followers by midday Monday.

Some videos on YouTube had mixed the speech with music into "dance" or "dubstep" songs.

But among the jokes, some commentators criticized the linguistic abilities of Spanish leaders in a country with a 26.26 percent unemployment rate.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy spoke to the Olympic chiefs in Spanish. Only Prince Felipe addressed the Olympic committee in English, French and Spanish.

Click here to read The Local's opinion piece on the language abilities of Spain's politicians.

Botella, 59, was appointed mayor of Madrid by the city councillors without the need for an election in December 2011 after her predecessor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon left to become justice minister.

The mayor, who has been  married since 1977 to former right-leaning prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, has been subject to criticism before for apparent linguistic gaffes.

She famously declared in 2004: "Homosexual marriage will never be equal to heterosexual marriage in the same way that two apples produce another apple, but an apple and a pear will never produce another apple."

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain ejects seven illegal migrants from tiny island
File image of Congress Island. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Spain ejects seven illegal migrants from tiny island

Spain on Wednesday sent back to Morocco seven sub-Saharan African migrants who arrived at an uninhabited Spanish island near the Moroccan coast on an inflatable boat, officials said. READ () »

Real Madrid fans jam streets after Cup win
Goalkeeper Iker Casillas displays the Copa del Rey trophy. Photo: AFP/Gerard Julien

Real Madrid fans jam streets after Cup win

Thousands of cheering Real Madrid fans welcomed their team back to the Spanish capital early on Thursday after winning the Copa del Rey with a 2-1 victory over arch rivals Barcelona. READ () »

Rising imports boost Spain's trade deficit
File photo: PromoMadrid/Flickr

Rising imports boost Spain's trade deficit

Spain's trade deficit jumped by more than a third in February compared to the almost 20-year low it hit a year earlier, official data released on Wednesday shows. READ () »

Fake terrorist jailed for extorting businessmen
His extortion methods, commonly known as revolutionary tax, were actually employed by ETA until 2011. Photo of phone call: Shutterstock

Fake terrorist jailed for extorting businessmen

A man has been sentenced to 25 years behind bars after he pretended to be a member of Basque separatist group ETA in threatening letters sent out to 100 Spanish businessmen. READ () »

Spanish king's plane breaks down again
Spain's King Juan Carlos (centre) at the first UAE-Spain Economic Forum at the Emirates Palace hotel on Monday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP

Spanish king's plane breaks down again

Spain's King Juan Carlos saw his return home from the Middle East on Wednesday delayed after the military plane he was travelling on experienced engine problems, the fifth such incident in recent months. READ () »

Punches thrown during packed Easter parade
The aged victim of the attack received emergency treatment after the incident. Screen grab: 8 Andalusia

Punches thrown during packed Easter parade

Holy Week celebrations in the Spanish city of Seville were marred by violence on Tuesday when a young man attacked an older man in a dispute over the best spot to watch a passing religious procession. READ () »

Spanish restaurant to be world's most expensive
Sublimotion will offer a “gastro-sensory” spectacle to the lucky dozen; including lights, sounds and levitating dinner plates. Photo: YouTube

Spanish restaurant to be world's most expensive

The Spanish party island of Ibiza will soon house the most expensive restaurant on the planet, where a meal for one will cost the (not so) lucky customer a staggering €1,500 ($2075). READ () »

Immigrants gatecrash 'forgotten' Spanish isle
Isabel II Island, with a military barracks that houses around 30 soldiers is the only one of the three Chafarinas Islands which is inhabited. Photo: Miguel González Novo

Immigrants gatecrash 'forgotten' Spanish isle

Seven would-be immigrants arrived on the Spain's tiny Isla del Congresso on Monday, startling the small band of Spanish soldiers stationed on a neighbouring island. READ () »

Spain's 'corruption king' turns violent in prison
“I’m not a criminal,” Bárcenas shouted as he refused to be handcuffed behind his back, a requirement for prisoners travelling in Spain. Photo: YouTube & Pierre Phillipe Marcou/AFP

Spain's 'corruption king' turns violent in prison

The former treasurer of Spain's ruling Popular Party won't be allowed to walk the prison courtyard for nearly five months after directing insults at Civil Guard police officers and refusing to be handcuffed. READ () »

Catalan report is wrong on independence: EU
Young activists calling for independence for Catalonia take part in a 'human chain' on the region's national day on September 11, 2013. File photo: José Jordan/AFP

Catalan report is wrong on independence: EU

The European Union has once again said an independent Catalonia would be automatically left out of the EU, a day after lobby group for the region's government released a report arguing this would not be the case. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
'Monkey Jesus' restorer to star in music video
Culture
Seven surprising facts about Spain's Holy Week
National
Spanish tax office sells bras for extra cash
Society
Abortion Travel: 'The agency that should never exist'
National
Top expat moans about Spain on Twitter
Society
Email gaffe reveals how Spanish firms exploit young workers
National
Man hacks off own fingers in insurance scam
Travel & Tourism
Top ten: Spain's best beaches 2014
National
Lovemaking lands woman at bottom of well
International
Jobless Spaniards to be kicked out of Germany
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Health
Serial texter suffers first case of 'WhatsAppitis'
Politics
Six reasons why Suárez is Spain's best loved PM
Politics
'Energy giants out to kill off Spain's solar sector'
Society
Spain's hottest jobs 2014
National
Man dies while taking selfie on top of train
Society
Spanish PM turns down free English course
Travel & Tourism
Top Ten: Spain's coolest hotels 2014
Culture
A to Z of The Local's picture galleries
Culture
Scientists discover why some of us 'hate' music
Features
How Barcelona is getting it wrong on cannabis
National
'Spain could be a world leader in solar power'
Society
Could this Spanish Duchess claim the Scottish crown?
Society
Global 'British grub' map satisfies expat cravings
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,392
jobs available