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Why has France bid adieu to 'Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur'?

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Why has France bid adieu to 'Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur'?
AFP
10:17 CET+01:00
You'll never have to use the acronym PACA again after the name of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region was changed by officials. But what's motivated the move?

The region which stretches from the French Riviera up into the high Alps is better known by its acronym PACA. 

But not anymore.

The regional council has just voted unanimously to change the name of the region. From now on it will be known as just "Region Sud" although it's full name will be "Region Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur".

The president of the region Renaud Muselier, who has long detested the acronym PACA "because it means nothing and devalues the region" believes the change to Region Sud will help boost the image of the region.

"Our territory is the sun, the sea, the mountains, the good living. It was essential to give our region a name that values ​​all our assets: the south," the president of the region tweeted after the council backed the name change.

Muselier says the acronym PACA had "lost all its meaning to the public on a regional, national and international level".

"Provence-Alpes-Côtes d'Azur is complicated to say so 'Region Sud' works much better," he told Nice Matin.

The name change comes a year after several other regions in France changed their names after the government redrew the administrative map of France when it cut the number of regions from 22 to 13.

New regions included Hauts de France in the north, Grand Est in the east and Occitanie in the south west.

Muselier noted that no region chose the word "sud" (south) as part of is new name.

"So I took it," he said.

He believes the name Region Sud is associated with the three "world brands" that are "Provence, Alpes and Côte d'Azur". He believes it will boost "the international influence and recognition of our territory".

"It's obvious, everyone thinks of the 'south' when they think of our region and not PACA", read the text of the motion that was passed by the regional council.

"The 'south' induces a very positive image: the good life, the light, the landscapes of dreams...".

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