Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

IMAGE Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

IMAGE Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

IMAGE Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Oregon

IMAGE Tuesday, 17 May 2011
A cultural celebration of the seven Celtic nations, the new festival on the Oregon coast features Celtic music, dance, food, drink, crafts, vendors, kids events, family histories and Highland Games. Read More...

World's largest tidal power project

IMAGE Thursday, 07 April 2011
The world's largest tidal stream energy array will be built in the Sound of Islay on Scotland's west coast. Read More...

Wales' new devolution settlement

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
Following the 'Yes' victory in the 3 March 2011 Referendum, Wales will now be able to pass its own laws in twenty policy fields. Read More...

The Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland has an unparalleled display of polygonal columns of basalt rock resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Read More...

Surprise as opposition party wins Galician General Election

Surprise as opposition party wins Galician General ElectionThe Conservatives have scored an unexpected victory over the governing coalition of Social-Democrats and Nationalists.

Conservative party Partido Popular has scored an unexpected victory over the governing coalition of social-democrats and nationalists.

The leader of Partido Popular de Galicia (PPdG), Mr Alberto Núñez-Feijóo, has become the new Galician president after a dramatic win at the General Election held on March 1st 2009.

The conservatives obtained a tight parliamentary majority of 38 seats over the combined 37 seats of social-democrats' Partido Socialista de Galicia (PSdG) and nationalists' Bloque Nacionalista Galego (BNG).

Final results gave the PPdG 38 seats with 46.68% of the votes, followed by 25 seats with 31.02% of the votes for the PSdG, and 12 seats with 16.01% of the votes for the BNG.

Although the PSdG - BNG government coalition won 789,427 votes in the election, some 5,773 votes more than the PPdG with just 789,427, the complex Galician electoral system eventually returned a majority of PPdG members to the Galician Parliament.

The result came as a surprise for all parties as pre-election polls were forecasting a victory for the PSdG - BNG government coalition, which had been in power since winning the 2005 election by only one seat over the PPdG.

During his campaign, Mr Núñez-Feijóo repeatedly accused the government coalition of wasting public money and not dealing efficiently with the global financial crisis that is affecting Galicia.

Following their defeat, former president Emilio Pérez-Touriño (PSdG) and vicepresident Anxo Quintana (BNG) stepped down as leaders of their respective parties and recognised that their government should have "communicated better" with the Galician society.

The resignation of Mr Pérez-Touriño and Mr Quintana has opened a leadership contest in both the Partido Socialista de Galicia and Bloque Nacionalista Galego.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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