France has a surprisingly large number of streets named after Americans. There are streets named for Thomas Edison, George Gershwin and Ben Franklin. But recent plans to name a street after Steve Jobs has encountered some resistance. Specifically, resistance from French Communists.
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 2003 (left) Parisian street sign on old building wall with the Avenue de New York street name written on it (Photo by: Eye Ubiquitous/UIG via Getty Images)
Developers recently converted an old train station in the city into a tech start-up incubator called the Halle Freyssinet. The facility will open next year with over 1000 small businesses, and one of the surrounding streets is set to be named Steve Jobs Road (or Rue Steve Jobs).
But the a group of local Communists opposes the plans of the mayor, Jérôme Coumet, and hopes that the city will consider another historical tech figure like Ada Lovelace. Naming the street after Lovelace, they insist, is more in line with the values of French society.
“The elected representative Communists made a joint proposal for replacing Steve Jobs with Ada Lovelace, a pioneer of IT, known for creating the first computer program,” the local far left group said in a statement.
The group cites Apple’s tax dodging in Europe as just one of the many reasons they oppose naming the street after Steve Jobs. They also claim that Apple mistreats its workers in China, claiming that they suffer “inadequate” and “forced overtime”.
“Steve Jobs is not a perfect man,” Mayor Coumet said, defended naming the street for Jobs on his Twitter account. “But he has changed our daily lives by popularising the computer, mouse and the smartphone.”
The United States has yet to name a road for Steve Jobs.