According to the new movement ‘Oui au Pays Catalan’ the future, economy and identity must not be allowed to disintegrate. To this end, a meeting will take on place Saturday, October 15 at 15h at the Mégacastillet Perpignan.
‘Oui au Pays Catalan’ are demanding a ‘Statut de Collectivité Territoriale Unique (CTU’) for the Roussillon, Conflent, Vallespir, Cerdanya, Capcir and Fenouillèdes, with a name that is recognized, and identifies the region…..
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Catalans are rarely backwards in coming forwards where the honour of Catalonia is at stake, and the new name of the administrative region has ruffled more than a few feathers!
In 2005, Georges Frêche became President of the Regional Council, and immediately recommended that the region revert to its ancient name – Septimanie. Sounds a little like an infectious disease n’est-ce pas?
Protests throughout the region and a petition of 45,000 signatures made it clear that the change would be somewhat unpopular – so Languedoc Roussillon it remained.
Ten years later, in an attempt to reduce bureaucracy, the 22 administrative regions of France have been cut down by nearly half, into ‘super-regions’, and Languedoc Roussillon has merged with the Midi-Pyrénées and is no more. Welcome to L’Occitanie – with a ’subtitle’ of ‘Pyrénées-Méditerranée’ below.
This new region of Occitanie now consists of 13 ‘départements’ – Ariège, Aude, Aveyron, Gard, Gers, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, Hérault, Lot, Lozère, Pyrénées-Orientales, Tarn, and Tarn-et-Garonne – and it’s whipped up another storm.
The name Occitania itself is a historical reference to a large part of southern France where several different versions of Occitanian French (‘les langues d’oc’) were spoken,right up to the nineteenth century.
But despite the fact that ‘òc’ means ‘YES’ in the langue d’oc, many true Languedocians are joining the Catalans in saying NO, disappointed at the spreading around and watering down of their own particular
Given the strong regional identity of the Roussillon, French Catalonia, it was never going to slip easily into a new name, particularly one with no reference to ‘Catalan’. In the words of the song…. there may be trouble ahead.