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...

Strikes in Brittany to protest against pension reform

Demonstrations were organised in Brittany as part of the French protest against government plans to raise the retirement age.

Demonstrations were organised in Brittany as part of the French protest against government plans to raise the retirement age.

A series of strikes and demonstrations were organised during September, October and November 2010 to protest against French government plans to raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62 and the full state pension age from 65 to 67.

The government said that because of the ageing population it can no longer afford the current pension system, but the measure has proved unpopular with the French public.

Weeks of industrial action across France were organised by public sector unions; all the main opposition parties were in favour of the strikes.

In Brittany, tens of thousands took to the streets to protest against the pension reform. The strikes led to reduced public transport services and motorway blockages by lorry drivers.

The strikes and ongoing blockade of oil refineries caused fuel shortages in Brittany, which experienced panic-buying at many petrol stations.

An Ifop opinion poll taken in October showed the majority of the French public believed a rise in the pension age was inevitable, however 71% of people decided to support the strikes anyway. The same survey showed that 59% opposed the blockade of roads, business and refineries by strikers.

The strikes have cost the French economy 200 to 400 million Euro per day, according to France's Ministry of Finance.

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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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