08 April, 2014

The reduction of the number of regions may lead the Angers mayor to put forth a European constituency

La réduction de moitié du nombre de régions d'ici 2017 que le premier ministre Manuel Valls a présentée comme un moyen de réaliser des économies ne sera pas sans conséquences pour Angers. Son nouveau maire, Christophe Béchu, avait voici quelques mois, proposé une solution à la fois plus audacieuse... et plus favorable pour la ville.

The new Angers city council, as may other authorities, in which the Conseil général de Maine-et-Loire, will, soon or later, be led to examine the possible consequencies for the territory generated by the reduction of the number of French regions, recently announced by the new prime minister, Manuel Valls, as possible mean to lower public expenses. If such a reform must to be implemented, it is sure the Pays de la Loire region would disappear and melted in a wider structure.

Christophe Béchu, new Angers mayor, had expressed an opinion about that possible change at the beginning of 2014 and, if he didn't change his mind, will likely push his idea ahead, as mayor and as senator. According to him, the future French region should be modeled on the european constituencies. In Western France, the constituency gathers three regions : Bretagne, Pays de la Loire and Poitou-Charentes. Such an evolution would have a important advantage for the Maine et Loire department and for Angers : to be at the center of the constituency. Mr Béchu is not favourable to the inclusion of the Maine-et-Loire in a wider Centre region because the department and the city would be located at its boundaries.

Such a reform would also set a new basis regarding the cooperation between Pays de la Loire cities.  Three of them, Angers, Laval and La Roche sur Yon have conservative leaders while Le Mans and Nantes have elected socialist mayors. "Incidentally", the scheme suggested by Mr. Béchu would also go further than the prime minister's proposals and stimulate the savings French public finance desperately need. That one didn't say if he will also suppress the most of the curent city councils : 36 000 in France!

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