The endangered and ageing socialist 'principality' of the Ariège


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Two citadels stand proud above the centre of the southern French town of Foix, the administrative capital of the Ariège département (equivalent to a county), close to the border with Spain. One of them is a medieval fortress, a major local tourist attraction, and the other, at the top of a hill, is the building that houses the General Council, from where Augustin Bonrepaux reigns over the region.