Pargas (Finnish: Parainen) is a town and municipality of Finland, in the Archipelago Sea. The big limestone mine in Pargas is the base of the main industry and except for the central parts, the municipality is still mostly rural.
Pargas – Parainen
The city centre of Pargas
Coat of arms
Location of Pargas in Finland
|Coordinates: 60°18′N 022°18′E|
|• Town manager||Patrik Nygrén|
|• Total||5,548.17 km2 (2,142.16 sq mi)|
|• Land||881.79 km2 (340.46 sq mi)|
|• Water||4,666.46 km2 (1,801.73 sq mi)|
|Area rank||88th largest in Finland|
|• Rank||75th largest in Finland|
|• Density||17.27/km2 (44.7/sq mi)|
|Population by native language|
|• Swedish||57.6% (official)|
|Population by age|
|• 0 to 14||17.2%|
|• 15 to 64||63.3%|
|• 65 or older||19.5%|
|Time zone||UTC+02:00 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+03:00 (EEST)|
|Municipal tax rate||19.25%|
Pargas is located in Åboland in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Southwest Finland region. It was created as Väståboland on January 1, 2009 in Southwest Finland, when the municipalities of Pargas, Nagu, Korpo, Houtskär and Iniö were merged into a single municipality.
The municipality has a population of 15,225 (31 January 2019) and covers an area of 5,548.17 square kilometres (2,142.16 sq mi) of which 4,666.46 km2 (1,801.73 sq mi) is water. The population density is 17.27 inhabitants per square kilometre (44.7/sq mi).
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. Furthermore, the shipping industry is a relevant industry in the region. The municipality is suffering from high debt.
Archaeological excavations revealed that the vikings used to travel to the archipelago in the 9th century.
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. The debates became heated and a referendum was arranged to decide what name the municipality should have in May 2011. 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.
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. Though there has been legal complications and the council decision to rename will be taken to court, the court might override the council decision. The Council considered to take this issue up again for debate and vote. The council made a re-vote on 6 September 2011 with 25 votes for Pargas, 17 for Väståboland and 1 blank vote.
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