How should the central region of Occitania be called ?
The Occitan Nation Party reiterates its opposition to the new reshaping of French regions :
- It is in favour of Occitan regions that would be based on human realities and especially on the territories where the Occitan language is spoken
- It gives priority to a devolution of State powers to the regions, including law-making power, in their fields of competence, along with corresponding financial means, and to the building of an Occitan inter-regional cooperation.
In particular, the Occitan Nation Party supports the demands for the creation of North Euskadi and North Catalonia autonomous regions, separated from the new « big regions » planned.
The Occitan Nation Party also recalls its choice of « Central Occitania » as a name for the new « Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées » region : the word « Occitania » is necessary to clearly identify its Occitan character, but it should not be the only example of its use to respect the Occitan character of the neighbouring regions. Other options with the use of the word « Occitania » may go in the same direction, but in a more or less unsatisfactory manner - although « Occitania-Catalonia » would have the merit of recognizing the two nations.
Last September, the five regional dailies of the « Dépêche » press group pooled their resources to poll their readers on the name of the future region joining the former « Midi-Pyrénées » and « Languedoc-Roussillon » regions. This poll did not put forward either « Central Occitania », or « Catalonia » or « North Catalonia ». A last resort for the Occitans was to vote « Occitania», and for the Catalans « Occitania – Catalan Country ». By separating the numbers of alleged Catalans and those of alleged Occitans, we can see that the poll that collected a little less than 100, 000 responses in the Occitan part of the region, may inform us on what the Occitan people who live in this future region think : the proposal « Occitania » is clearly in the lead with 32% of allegedly Occitan votes (the most popular designations that follow gathered between 8 and 10% of votes).
The Occitans now know that they live in Occitania. It is, however, just a poll. Regional councillors are to propose to the French government the name of the region before July 2016, and the government will decide before October 2016 after consulting the Council of State. This means that they may not take into account the popular will expressed by this officious consultation. This Council of State, a major instrument of French imperialism, has already announced that it would refuse names with a strong emphasis on identity : so we must remain vigilant and active to impose a name identifying « Occitania », and, as much as possible, it should be « Central Occitania ».
This poll demonstrates that thanks to the hard work of cultural and political organisations of Occitan activists, the Occitan people is becoming everyday more aware of its national identity. The Occitan Nation Party keeps working in that direction.
6th October 2015
Partit de la Nacion Occitana
10, carrièra de Romàs
06 76 47B 32 12