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Midi-Pyrenees is the largest region of metropolitan France by area, larger than the Netherlands or Denmark. Midi-Pyrénées has no historical or geographical unity. It is one of the regions of France created in the late 20th century to serve as a hinterland and zone of influence for its capital, Toulouse, one of a handful of so-called "balancing metropolises" (métropoles d'équilibre). Another example of this is the region of Rhône-Alpes which was created as the region for Lyon. The name chosen for the new region was decided by the French government without reference to the historical provinces (too many of them inside the region) and based on geography: Midi (i.e. "southern France") - Pyrénées (Pyrénées mountains that serve as the region's southern boundary). The French adjective and name of the inhabitants of the region is: Midi-Pyrénéen.

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