Capital Cities of France
French Regions were formed in 1972 as a governmental divide between the départments and Paris, the country's capitol. Some of the regions were created primarily to serve as a zone of influence for their capitals to create balancing metropolises or métropoles d'équilibre. Banks and state departments were moved out of the large cities and into the provinces. They levy their own distinct taxes and the budgets are managed by the Conseil Régional or regional council made up of a president and elected representatives. They have considerable discretionary spending available for infrastructural issues such as education, public transportation, schools and universities, and research.