The Occitan name, to which is added the subtitle “ Pyrenees-Mediterranean “, was adopted by 85 votes out of 158 councilors. 62 (of 62) voted against, 9 abstentions, and two have not spoken, according to a final count of the region.
The resolution passed Friday also fixed the capital of the region in Toulouse and meetings of the plenary sessions in “ the urban area of Montpellier .” Regional majority wished, in the name of territorial equity, that plenary meetings are held in Montpellier but the Chamber of the Regional Council is not wide enough to accommodate the 158 elected, they therefore meet alternately in Corum Montpellier and exhibition center located in the municipality of Pérols, rented to these occasions.
Carole Delga, the institution’s president and who had hitherto not seem favorable to the Occitan name, finally proposed the vote of elected officials. While adding “ a permanent reference ” to the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean.
She assured that the name would be “ unifying ” and “ not let anyone by the wayside “, emphasizing its intention to create a Catalan cultural organization that has among its tasks to strengthen the teaching of the Catalan language.
“ Occitania ” is considered as a real provocation by the Catalans and is considered “ corny ” and unusable internationally by the business community. Several Catalan regional elected Friday expressed their wish to meet “ an ancient culture ” and emphasized the “ sentiment of loss of identity ” of population “ distressed ” and “ disoriented ” with this choice.
– muscled Exchanges –
But the most heated exchanges took place between Ms. Delga and elected Republicans and the National Front.
Stephan Rossignol (LR) blasted the choice “ Occitan ” seeing it “ real historical and geographical usurpation “, the original term covering 38 departments of France today.
He denounced by Ms. Delga a “ politician bargaining ” with its ally EELV Gérard Onesta, who demanded respect for citizen consultation held in May and June name of participatory democracy. The plenary assembly of 15 April had proposed citizens vote the names “ Languedoc ‘,’ Languedoc-Pyrénées ‘,’ Occitania “, ” Occitan-Catalan Country “and” Pyrenees-Mediterranean . ”
Of the approximately 5.7 million people in the region, only some 204,000 people participated from 9 May to 10 June in this consultation which cost 500,000 euros. According to the results presented on June 16, “ Occitania ” was placed first in almost 45% of cases before Languedoc-Pyrénées (under 18%).
“ This is a few clicks for a big slap ” quipped Jamet France on behalf of the Front National (40 elected), saying that “ Occitan “was” a militant expression and clivante “and lamenting that” the historical name of Languedoc “has been removed.
In this new wide area such as Austria, which is struggling to find its footing and identity, the new name also displeased number of Languedoc. Already affected by the loss of the status of regional capital Montpellier, they feel far removed geographically and culturally from Toulouse. Especially the Gard themselves as Provence and non Occitan.
The region had already experienced an attempted name change. In 2004, Georges Freche, elected in Languedoc-Roussillon’s head, had wanted to rename the area “ Septimanie .”
“ I proposed Midi + + ” that “ has the advantage that concern both the Catalans and Occitan anchor its reality in History: Peasants du Midi, Protestants du Midi (…) , “responded Friday night Philippe Saurel (DVG), mayor and president of the city of Montpellier. “ This proposal was removed from the list submitted to the citizens, therefore the chosen name will suit me, however, recalling with a smile, qu’Occitanie, not far from Septimanie .”