Respected delegates from Wales, from Cornwall; brothers and sisters, dear friends.

I extend our welcome to everyone here as we celebrate our Open Gorsedd which this year is dedicated to Jean Le Fustec, or Lemenik his name as Grand Druid.

He died a hundred years ago. He was the first Grand Druid of Brittany. He made our Gorsedd succeed in its first steps under the sun, the eye of the day.

Lemenik venerated greatly the Barddas, the writings of Iolo Morganwg, founder of the Gorsedd in Great Britain. He believed that the ideas expressed there came from the times of the ancient Celts.

He was a man inspired by the theory of the three circles of existence. For him the whole world, the universe, had been plunged into a sea of spirit which constituted its principal material. So he was following the tracks of people like John Toland to recover a philosophy which one called pantheism.

So it was that our first Grand Druid had opened a highway leading to reflection, to enquiry and to spirituality.

We are still on that highway never forgetting what is feeding our spirit and our quest on the plain of our culture. That is those real Druids who brought to our people its song and its flag, that’s to say the visible symbols of our nationality.

Let’s continue to advance, my friends, for we are very far from the end of the road with the dangerous reform which the Government is proposing at this time.

Under the pretext of making economies and increasing efficiency, our leaders have decided to change the method of electing general and regional counsellors. Was that the most important thing to do when the State fails to say clearly distinctly, and immediately how the competencies and powers of the regions will be augmented ?

In Spain, in Great Britain, in Germany, in almost all the great democracies of Europe, weight is given to the regions. The budget of the rump of Brittany is 1.1 million euros as against 32 millions in Scotland !

Instead of giving more budgetary control to the regions, the State has decided to hold down the professional tax which would assure the finance of local communities ! The State as under the Ancien Régime decides at its own pleasure what it will allow to its subjects !

Worse still, the State intended to do away with the « general competence », that’s to say the capacity the Region has to intervene in several fields on political matters. As it happens the Senate has just re-established it, but what will remain of it at the end of day nobody can know at all at this time!

The new law offers the possibility as well for cities to compete for whole regions. Let’s be prepared that the old rivalry between Rennes and Nantes could find itself revived which will cause confusion. Divide and rule ! End decentralisation, let recentralisation commence !

It is equally a question of changing the method of election of regional and general councillors who will become territorial councillors elected in the cantons. Their number will be reduced by the State without taking account of the number of voters they represent ! The action of the Prince once more !

At the latest regional elections, the government didn’t meet with great success, would they want then to avenge themselves on the regions ?

The region will be no more than a hotchpotch of cantons looking like horses and pigs kept in the same stable to feed the same lice ? Is it necessary to scuttle the town of Ys so that Paris might float ?

The number of counsellors will be halved and there will be no proportional election. Several associations defending women’s right have emphasised one fact: the proportion of women is threatened with shrinkage from now on and it is possible that only 17% will remain of the 48% presently existing.

The French State is nevertheless in the sixty-fifth place in the world, and nineteenth in Europe for the number of women sitting in legislative assemblies.

So France is the fatherland of male rights but when will she become that of equal rights ? Will not this kind of thing finally make her lose her national identity ?

It is time for the Region to speak in a loud voice here and also abroad. The enlargement of the region’s political field of action is both a necessity and a hope for the future.

A vice-president of the languages of Brittany has been named. That is a good thing. We hope that she will really have the means to carry out her mission. We wish her good luck in her work !

The President of the Regional Council is the first minister of the Bretons, because he is the result of universal suffrage. So his words carry weight. We hope therefore that he will express himself boldly and against Paris if he needs to.

Long live Brittany, long live the Breton people, long live our Gorsedds !