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Languedoc-Roussillon

From Academic Kids

Template:Languedoc-Roussillon infobox Languedoc-Roussillon (Occitan: Lengadòc-Rosselhon; Catalan: Llenguadoc-Rosselló) is one of the 26 régions of France.

The région is made up of the following historical provinces:

  • 68.7% of Languedoc-Roussillon is the province of Languedoc: départements of Hérault, Gard, Aude, extreme south and extreme east of Lozère, and extreme north of Pyrénées-Orientales. It should be noted that the former province of Languedoc also extends over the Midi-Pyrénées région, including the old capital of Languedoc Toulouse.
  • 17.9% of Languedoc-Roussillon is the province of Gévaudan: Lozère département. A small part of Gévaudan is also inside the Auvergne région. Gévaudan is often considered to be a sub-province inside the province of Languedoc, in which case Languedoc accounts for 86.6% of Languedoc-Roussillon.
  • 13.4% of Languedoc-Roussillon is a collection of culturally Catalan pays (i.e. "countries"): Roussillon, Vallespir, Conflent, Capcir, and Cerdagne, all of which located from east to west inside the Pyrénées-Orientales département. All of these pays (in Catalonia, on the other side of the border, a pays is known as a comarca) are together known as the "province of Roussillon", owning its name to the largest and most populous of the five pays. The correct name should be "province of Roussillon and adjacent lands of Cerdagne", which is the name that was used after the area became French in 1659, based on the historical division of the five pays between the county of Roussillon (Roussillon and Vallespir) and the county of Cerdagne (Cerdagne, Capcir, and Conflent). Catalan nationalists prefer to use the name "North Catalonia" (Catalan: Catalunya Nord), but this name has no official recognition, and it is quite controversial. Finally, it should be noted that Roussillon, Vallespir, Conflent, and Capcir lie entirely inside the Languedoc-Roussillon région, but that only the northern half of Cerdagne is inside the région. The southern half of Cerdagne is on Spanish territory, since the Treaty of the Pyrenees of 1659 divided Cerdagne between France and Spain. People in Catalonia refer to the French part of Cerdagne as "High Cerdagne" (Alta Cerdanya), but this name has no recognition in France.

At the regional elections in March 2004, the fiery and domineering socialist mayor of Montpellier Georges Frêche, a maverick in French politics, conquered the région, defeating its center-right president. Since then, Georges Frêche has embarked on a complete overhaul of the région and its institutions. The flag of the région, which displayed the Occitan cross of Languedoc as well as the stripes of Catalonia (Roussillon), was changed for a new nondescript flag with no reference to the old provinces, except in terms of the colors (red and yellow), which are the colors of both Languedoc and Catalonia.

In the same spirit, Georges Frêche also wants to change the name of the région, wishing to erase its duality (Languedoc vs. Roussillon) and strengthen its unity. Thus, he wants to rename the région "Septimanie" (English: Septimania). Septimania was the name created by the Romans at the end of the Roman Empire for the coastal area corresponding quite well to present day Languedoc-Roussillon (including Roussillon, but not including Gévaudan), and used in the early Middle Ages for the area. The name would transcend the difference between the Occitan and Catalan speaking areas of Languedoc-Roussillon, and show a unity that goes back before Languedoc or Catalonia appeared. However, the name has not been in use since the 9th century, and it sounds quite odd to French people. Currently, Georges Frêche is using the name "Septimanie" next to the official name of the région, to have people get accustomed to it. However, changing the name of the région will require approval from the French government, and it is far from certain that the government will approve the change. Also, Catalan nationalists in Roussillon will probably oppose the change, unwilling to fuse their identity into a "Septimanie" région with no reference to Roussillon.

Actually, Catalan nationalists in Roussillon would like the Pyrénées-Orientales département to secede from Languedoc-Roussillon and become a région in its own right, which they wish to name "Catalunya Nord" (i.e. "North Catalonia"), but it is quite probable that the French government will not allow this. On the other hand, in the current debate over the reform of French political divisions, which focuses on the fact that there exist too many small régions in France, there are those who would like to merge the Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées régions, thus reunifying the old province of Languedoc, and creating a large région able to compete at the European level. It seems probable that Geroges Frêche, with his idea of a "Septimanie" région, does not support such plans, although political leaders in Béziers, Narbonne, and especially Nîmes, would probably support such a merger, hostile as they are to Montpellier, which was chosen as the capital of Languedoc-Roussillon instead of their own city, and which they accuse of hegemony.

References



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de:Languedoc-Roussillon es:Languedoc-Rosellón (Francia) eo:Langvedoko-Rusiljono fr:Languedoc-Roussillon ko:랑그독-루시용 it:Linguadoca-Rossiglione ka:ლანგედოკი-რუსილონი hu:Languedoc-Roussillon nl:Languedoc-Roussillon ja:ラングドック=ルシヨン地域圏 pl:Langwedocja-Roussillon sv:Languedoc-Roussillon

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