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Candles help shine light on poverty

Public squares, bridges and buildings all across Switzerland were twinkling with thousands of candles on Saturday as part of a solidarity campaign.

The Roman Catholic aid organisation Caritas organised the event in 150 Swiss cities and towns. It was part of the "Million Stars" project to highlight the plight of the poor against the background of the global financial crisis.

"The forecast for next year is dismal," said Hugo Fasel, director of Caritas. "Solidarity is needed more than ever."

About 250,000 people took part in Saturday's event, the fourth time it has taken place.

This year volunteers placed candles in front of the parliament building in Bern and also in Basel and Zurich, among other locations.