Winners and losers in the new map of France

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Since François Hollande personally redrew the map of France in June as part of his local government reforms, the shape of the country's regions have been amended several times. However, French MPs recently voted to approve the latest version of the regional boundary changes, which now seems likely to form the new face of France. Mediapart has examined this regional structure, which reduces the number of regions from the current 22 to 13, to see what impact it will have on demographics, economic growth and employment. It seems clear that one result of the reforms will be to increase the wealth of already well-off regions and leave isolated areas languishing even further behind. Yannick Sanchez reports.

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The planned redrawing of France's regional map to create bigger and, in theory, more powerful regions will lead to greater geographic inequality, an analysis by Mediapart has shown. The reform, approved in outline by French MPs on July 23rd, will cut the number of French regions from 22 to 13 by merging many of them into larger super-regions. The changes will mean that just three of the regions will share half of the country's wealth between them. At the same time smaller regions such as Brittany in west France and the Centre will be among the poorest. Other consequences include a larger elderly population for the new super-region based around Aquitaine in south-west France. Another key question which arises – and which is so far unanswered - is how can the reforms save the 12 billion to 25 billion euros that supporters claim, without cutting public services?