Since Monday, regional elected officials have been meeting to vote on the 2023 Brittany Region budget. Let’s be honest, the Brittany region created in 1956 like others regions in France, does not have a serious budget. It is 1.86 billion euros (GBP 1.65 billion). For comparison, Wales’ budget for 2022-2023 is GBP 24,670,000 or 27,765,635 euros. Brittany’s budget is 15 times less than Wales, so not a lot can be done. Although the Breton budget has increased by 8%, inflation is predicted to be between 5 and 6% in 2023. The socialist president of the Regional Council, Loïg Chesnais-Girard, did say that the Brittany languages budget will rise by €100 000 and should reach €9.55 million. But elected regionalists and cultural associations are saying that the Breton language budget is decreasing by 2%. Everybody is concerned about the lack of Breton language teachers and the fact that there’s not enough money allocated to train new teachers. Less than 200 000 people currently use the Breton language and it could soon be extinct.
In his defense, Loïg Chesnais-Girard, cited the international tensions since February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. For him, the energy crisis and the return of inflation are now disrupting all forecasts. In high schools and transport alone, two of the Region’s responsibilities, the additional costs linked to soaring energy costs could amount to nearly 50 million euros.
Nil Caouissin of the left-wing Breizh a-gleiz group, was astonished to see that the same regional executive who, a year ago, signed an ambitious agreement with the central French government for the languages of Brittany (Breton and Gallo), was ready to vote for a budget reduction. The Gallo language appears to get a boost of 7% but not the Breton one. The elected regionalists requested an increase of one million euros for the languages budget but this was rejected by Loïg Chesnais-Girard without a vote.
The elected regionalists are openly speaking of a “burial policy”.