Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Celtic League

This note comes to us thanks to Agence Bretagne Presse:

Celtic League's General Secretary at Basque Youth Congress

The General Secretary (GS) of the Celtic League has been continuing developing contacts with the peoples of Europe in his role as President of the European Free Alliance Youth (EFAy), a European political youth organisation.

Last weekend, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot addressed the annual congress of Basque political youth Gazte Abertzaleak (GA) in Bilbo/Bilbao, Basque Country, who elected a new Secretary General and Bureau of the organization. Also present at the congress was Unai Ziarreta, President of Basque nationalist party Eusko Alkartasuna, who had also been invited along to speak.

In his address, the GS spoke about the importance of all the different peoples in Europe working together to achieve a European Union that is democratic and fair:

« We are all aware that the EU as it stands today needs to be reformed, to take account of the rights of all the peoples of Europe, where we all have an equal voice and are equally represented. This aim cannot be achieved on our own, but in working together we have the means and the determination to make a difference. »

In words that have significance for Bretons and Irish alike, Ziarreta spoke about the importance of working for a united Euskal Herria (Basque Country) that is not segregated by two different states (France and Spain) and even partitioned within the state itself (as in the case of Navarra).

The Basque Country is just one of the several stateless nations that exist in the state of Spain and in this way is similar to all of the other Celtic countries with the exception of Ireland. The Basque language and culture is arguably the oldest in Europe and predates the Indo European languages of which the Celtic languages are part. However, the Basque lands (Euskal Herria) have been divided up over the years and now straddle the states of France and Spanish and are split up within the Spanish state itself, with Navarra and the 'Basque Country' both having their own distinct parliaments. Both Basque Governments in the state of Spain, have a high degree of autonomy, which far outstrip the powers of Wales and Scotland.

J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League

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