A good article here from Paul Kavanagh on Brittany published on Newsnet Scotland: Wha's Like Us? Brittany
Friday, 8 July 2011
Saturday, 2 July 2011
Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, was invited to address the Breton Regional Council in Rennes by the President of the regional Council, Jean-Yves le Drian. In 2005 Brittany and Wales signed a 'Memorandum of Understanding' in Caerdydd/Cardiff , which aimed to forge closer cooperation between the two Celtic nations in the areas including culture, language, health and sustainable development. During the meeting on Friday Mr Le Drian and Mr Jones signed a document reaffirming their continued cooperation, which Mr Jones described as producing a real 'mutual benefit' adding:
"By working together we shape and influence policy on an international stage and further promote the role of regional governments. Wales and Brittany are both longstanding members of The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR). With our work on Cohesion Policy and Common Agricultural Policy reform CPMR is an example of how regional cooperation can have real benefits."
Other areas highlighted by the two Ministers where further cooperation could be developed included climate change and submitting a joint bid to EuropeAid to increase the amount of community-level engagement with Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR).
On 18th June 2011 protesters marched on the Breton city of Naoned/Nantes in a mass demonstration of solidarity in calling for the reunification of Brittany.
Over 5000 people took to the streets in what has become a regular event in the attempt to pressurise the French central government to consider reunifying Brittany following its partition by the Nazi's in the 1941. Private business, politicians and civil society have all expressed their support for the Pays Nantais (Nantes Region) or 'Pays de la Loire' region to be reunified with the rest of Brittany following its separation, which was a measure designed to divide the Celtic nation in a way that has proved expedient for the French state ever since.
In recent year's though central government in Paris has began to show signs that they may finally be prepared to listen to the demands of the people, but plans to redraw the regional boundaries of France were scrapped last year. With the French presidential elections due in 2012 and a possible change of government, Breton activists realise that the forthcoming year could be crucial for gaining the support of politicians for their cause. The demonstrators were demanding that all the presidential candidates make their position clear on reunification and to show their support for a referendum. Many people in the Loire-Atlantique department however do not to let Pays de la Loire go, because they argue it plays an important industrial and economic role in their region.
Protesters at the demonstration sang Breton songs and held banners that read: Vichy is over. Reunite Brittany, but some protesters questioned the overall success of the demonstration. Kevin Jezequel, a writer and protester in Naoned, told the Celtic League that he had his reservations:
"For me the demo was not successful, because 2 years ago, we were between 10,000 and 15,000 [people] it is one more demo, and nothing new. The politicians from PS, UMP and the Greens don't want reunification and the Breton lobby does not have sufficient strength.
"It is necessary for the Breton lobby and Breton parties (UDB, Parti Breton and Christian Troadec) to meet and to think about what it is possible to do, to identify how to stop the unification process and put pressure on it."
A number of groups were behind the organisation of the protest, including Naoned e Breizh (Nantes in Brittany), Bretagne Reunie, 44=Breizh, Agence Culturelle Bretonne Morvan Lebesque and Kevre Breizh.
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.
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