30 May, 2014

The idea of a large western region with Angers in its centre resurfaces

Le président du Conseil général de Maine-et-Loire, Christian Gillet, a proposé de réunir les trois régions atlantiques Bretagne, Pays de la Loire et Poitou-Charentes, soit l'actuelle circonscription pour les élections européennes. Cet idée placerait Angers au centre du nouvel ensemble. Il y a quelques mois, Christophe Béchu, alors président du Conseil général, avait suggéré ce schéma qui prend encore plus d'intérêt pour lui aujourd'hui.

The new Maine-et-Loire general council president, Christian Gillet, has expressed, in his first session on May 26th as head of that authority, that he was favourable to a merger of the Pays de la Loire region with those of Brittany and Poitou-Charentes. That scheme would strengthen Angers because its location would be at the centre of the new territory. There is no doubt that Mr. Gillet will have an ally with Christophe Béchu, his predecessor, new Angers mayor.

A few weeks ago, that one stated his own opinion about the project of the French government to lower the number of the current regions in order to save money. The idea he promoted was the creation of a western region equal to the current western european constituency : Bretagne, Pays de la Loire and Poitou-Charentes. That would not dismantle the current Pays de la Loire and could go even beyond what the French government has in mind because it could only plan to merger two of those : Bretagne and Pays de la Loire.

Recently Jacques Auxiette, president of the Pays de la Loire, promoted, with the French minister of environment, Ségolène Royal, herself former president of Poitou-Charentes, the idea of a merger between those two regions which would be far less advantageous for Angers. The counter proposal of  Mr. Béchu and Gillet also comes from representatives members of the opposition to the French government. So they could find in that field a way for the side to be distinguished from the current national and regional socialist majority.

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