The quiet strength of the Mayor of La Remaudière in Loire-Atlantique
Interview de Philippe Argouarch

Publié le 16/08/09 8:42 -- mis à jour le 00/00/00 00:00

For the ABP-TV video of Alan Coraud: (voir le site)


A small village inhabited by indomitable Gallic?... No, a small Breton village inhabited by indomitable Bretons, still resists on and on to the subtle and silent operations of “débretonisation” of the department of Loire-Atlantique which, as everyone knows, is not a part of administrative Brittany, but part of a region "Pays de la Loire" made up in 1957 with the ancient provinces of Anjou, Maine and the ancient county of Nantes which had been part of Brittany for more than 1000 years.

This village is La Remaudière, right by the Breton jewel of Clisson, this fabulous and underestimated historic treasure, which guarded, in former days, the duchy of Brittany from invasions from Poitou or France. La Remaudière is in the heart of the Vineyard of the “Pays de Nantes”, not very far from Maine-et-Loire (the ancient province of Anjou as its name does not indicate it).


In 2008, it is Alan Coraud who became the mayor in front of 5 other lists. His first act, highly symbolic, was to hoist a “Gwenn ha Du”[White and Black i.e. the Breton flag, ndt] on the pediment of the city hall. Approved moreover by all the town councillors except one, Alan points out.

Coraud had been already fighting for a long time to save the Breton soul of the Vineyard of Nantes. His new mandate legitimates a little more his vision of things and give more aura to the identity which he defends. Quite specially, he fights to keep the label “Muscadet, Breton wine”. He refuses the term "Val de Loire" that is being imposed to the wine growers of the Nantes vineyard. He admits that "the Muscadet wine is in an unprecedented crisis because of its loss of identity, of image, of reference to the Ocean, to the Armorican Massif, Nantes country, Brittany, in short all which made its success in Europe and, in a lesser measure, in France except for the Bretons of Paris and Brittany who identified themselves with THEIR wine."

Moreover he does not hesitate to clarify that saying NO is possible, as for the salt workers of Guérande or the people working in the tourist industry in Loire-Atlantique, who understood well what they had to lose if they abandoned, as they had been asked for, the label "Brittany" – for a vague and meaningless "Pays de la Loire" label. Unfortunately, the majority of the wine growers of the Vineyard of Nantes "did not feel the danger coming", Alan Coraud regrets.


Alan places his fight from the point of view of democracy, not on the nationalism one. It is not a question of a fight between two identities, he clarifies, but it is a fight between the democrats and the republicans. Naturally, it is not about "democrats" and "republicans" in the American way, but precisely it refers to the new division of the Hexagon [word for France refering to its geometric shape, ndt] which, gradually, replaces former political split left-right.

For Alan, republicans are the partisans of the French system, known as "Jacobin", they are the ones who constantly speak about values of the republic but who are only defending a set of privileges established by one region, the Île-de-France [around Paris, ndt], which managed to impose its language, its law, its culture and especially the subordination of the rest of the territory of France onto its own interests. They are often just disguised French nationalists, Alan explains - who also, has just explained it to a journalist of L'Express, [a French Information weekly magazine, ndt] who came specially to interview him at La Remaudière.

" I am a democrat", asserts the mayor of La Remaudière. The democrats being those who believe in respect of the rights of minorities and in devolution, those who believe in a real democracy of citizens, represented by other citizens, without accumulation of mandates, and regularly consulted by referendums in all levels of communities. There lays the quiet strength of the mayor: his conviction to fight for democracy. Conscious to make things advance, he admits that if he had appeared under the label of a breton party, he would not have been elected. He regrets this situation but explains that it is not necessary for acting. There are indeed things which cannot wait.

Philippe Argouarch


Alan-Erwan Coraud is also Vice-president of the C C L D (Association of Local Communities of the Loire-Divatte). The Divatte is a small river, part of which flows along the border line between Brittany and Anjou (or between the departments of Loire-Atlantique and Maine-et-Loire).

( voir l'article ) in French. Translation Maryvonne Cadiou.


Photo of the map, complete legend and comments by Alan Coraud:
The map of the naming "Wines of the Val de Loire" or Loire Valley, redrawn by the InterLoire after the integration of the Breton Muscadet wine: the ermine on labels has been substituted by the flower of lily [Fleur de Lys is the royal French emblem, ndt]. We see that sub-namings Cabernet of Anjou or High-Poitou or wines of Touraine or Muscadet of Sèvre and Loire were all kept except that "Breton Muscadet wine". In the Pays-de-la-Loire region a wine can be from Anjou or Touraine [names of the former provinces] but cannot be from Brittany. It has to be from the Val de Loire... Map source: official site of the naming : www.interloire.fr .


ABP-TV Video : 23 mn in French
Elected mayor of La Remaudière in 2008, Alan Coraud is also a wine grower and the leader of a communication agency. In this interview, he denounces the operations of débretonisation of the department and particularly the fastening of the naming Muscadet among the wines of the Val de Loire. [La Remaudière, August 12th 2009]

Philippe Argouarch

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