Pargas

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This article is about the present municipality. For the former municipality, see Pargas (former municipality).
Pargas
PargasParainen
Town
Pargas stad
Paraisten kaupunki
The city centre of Pargas
The city centre of Pargas
Coat of arms of Pargas
Coat of arms
Location of Pargas in Finland
Location of Pargas in Finland
Coordinates: 60°18′N 022°18′E / 60.300°N 22.300°E / 60.300; 22.300Coordinates: 60°18′N 022°18′E / 60.300°N 22.300°E / 60.300; 22.300
Country Finland
Region Finland Proper
Sub-region Åboland–Turunmaa sub-region
Charter 2009
Seat Pargas
Government
 • Town manager Folke Öhman
Area (2011-01-01)[1]
 • Total 5,548.25 km2 (2,142.19 sq mi)
 • Land 881.79 km2 (340.46 sq mi)
 • Water 4,666.46 km2 (1,801.73 sq mi)
Area rank 11th largest in Finland
Population (2014-09-30)[2]
 • Total 15,482
 • Rank 76th largest in Finland
 • Density 17.56/km2 (45.5/sq mi)
Population by native language[3]
 • Swedish 57.6% (official)
 • Finnish 41.2% (official)
 • Others 1.2%
Population by age[4]
 • 0 to 14 17.2%
 • 15 to 64 63.3%
 • 65 or older 19.5%
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Municipal tax rate[5] 19.25%
Website www.pargas.fi

Pargas (Finnish: Parainen; Väståboland (Finnish: Länsi-Turunmaa) in 2009–2011) is a municipality of Finland, in the Archipelago Sea. In fact, It is the only Finnish town surrounded by water on all sides. The big limestone mine in Pargas is the base of the main industry, while there is still significant rural areas. Except the central parts of Pargas the municipality is mostly rural.

Pargas is located in Åboland in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Finland Proper region. It was created as Väståboland on January 1, 2009 in Finland Proper, when the municipalities of Pargas, Nagu, Korpo, Houtskär and Iniö were united into a single municipality.

The municipality has a population of 15,482 (30 September 2014)[2] and covers an area of 5,548.25 square kilometres (2,142.19 sq mi) of which 4,666.46 km2 (1,801.73 sq mi) is water.[1] The population density is 17.56 inhabitants per square kilometre (45.5/sq mi).

The town is bilingual with a majority (57.6%) speaking Swedish as their native language.[3]

Economy[edit]

Pargas has a large limestone industry, with the industry and Nordkalk as an important local employer, agriculture employs many in the rural regions of the municipality. The municipality is suffering from high debt.[6]

History[edit]

Karin Thomasdotter (1610 - 1697), who served as Vogt in Pargas for over forty years, was one of the longest serving vogts, and also one of only two females to have the position in contemporary Finland.[7][8]

Recent history[edit]

On 1 January 2009, Pargas, Nagu, Korpo, Houtskär and Iniö merged to Pargas municipality.

Name dispute[edit]

Shortly after the merge people started debating if the "Väståboland" name was the right name for the merged municipality, those arguing against the Väståboland name, proposed Pargas as a 'new' name. The former municipalities could not agree on a new name and Pargas insisted on a change, so the state had to step in and decided the name to be Väståboland/Länsi-Turunmaa.[9] The debates became heated and a referendum was arranged to decide what name the municipality should have in May 2011.[10] The result of the referendum showed that 57,7% of the voters supported "Pargas" and 40.1% of voters supported "Väståboland". Though the overall majority supported changing the name, there was an overwhelming support for the name "Väståboland" in 4 out of 5 of the former municipalities. In Iniö only 1 voter out of 173 total voted for "Pargas", in all the four 62 out of 2060, while in Pargas 74,5% voted for "Pargas".[11]

The municipality council (Swedish: "Fullmäktige") decided on 14 June 2011 in favour of the majority population and decided to rename the municipality "Pargas" on 1 January 2012.[12] Though there has been legal complications and the council decision to rename will be taken to court, the court might override the council decision.[13] The Council considered to take this issue up again for debate and vote.[14] The council made a re-vote on 6 September 2011 with 25 votes for "Pargas", 17 for "Väståboland" and 1 blank vote.[15]

Merge with Kimitoön[edit]

There is debate about a possible merge with Kimitoön.[16]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Pargas is twinned with:

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Pargas at Wikimedia Commons