Subdued optimism, and especially surprise, are the reactions of some of Breton's political representatives after hearing last week the French President rise in defence of the ‘fusion of regions', something that Brittany knows as reunification -so much so that Nicolas Sarkozy held himself back from actually pronouncing the word-. Surrounded by mayors and the presidents of the region at the congress, the President reflected on the French territorial division, setting Normandy as an example ("There are two Normandies -and we love them- but do we really need two?" he asked) and Brittany.
About the Celtic country, Sarkozy stated: "Brittany, four incredible departments. If I go to Nantes [historical Breton city which today is outside the region of Brittany], amazing, and I say to myself: Now this is the capital of Brittany...but we are in Pays de la Loire!" The French President also called for "diversity and experimentation" on the issue of territorial arrangement.
Following these declarations, the main Breton political parties have shown their support to reunification and have invited the idea of setting a deadline for this process to begin. The Democratic Breton Union (UDB) has expressed the need of "taking advantage of this historical opportunity" and have asked the president of the Republic a plan to consult the Breton people on the subject of reunification both in the region of Loire-Atlantique, where the department of Pays de la Loire is located, as well as in the four departments of the region of Brittany.
The Parti Breton has pointed out that "it is the first time" that a French president makes such declarations, and has set the regional elections of 2010 as the date to put in effect the reunification. They have also asked for the devolution of powers in culture, audiovisuals, education, environment, agriculture and fishing to the five Breton regions.
Brittany's Greens, in favour of administrative reunification, have asked once again for "a new arrangement of the territory based on the coherency of the countries and the regions economically, socially, culturally or democratically." The party's spokesmen have also pointed out the "incoherency of the current institutional and administrative division in France."
Finally, the Breton section of the Democratic Movement (MoDem), have congratulated Sarkozy for his declarations, stressing the necessity of "all the elected Bretons, no matter what their political tendencies are, to reunite in order to work for the reunification to come to life as quickly as possible." Representatives of the party in Nantes have announced that they have proposed to the mayor of the city to have a vote on the reunification as soon as January.