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Swiss walkers to join Strasbourg rally

23 member nations of the European Ramblers' Association will take part in the Strasbourg walk

(Keystone Archive)

Walkers from Switzerland will be among 30,000 ramblers participating in the Euro-Rando 2001 Rally in Strasbourg on Saturday, the first event of its kind. Spokesmen said 23 member nations of the European Ramblers' Association would take part.

The participants will follow a network of sign-posted paths, and will pass on batons to symbolise communication and friendship across Europe.

Each participating country has charted a series of paths for ramblers, all of which lead ultimately to Strasbourg.

The Euro-Rando event was organised by the French Ramblers' Association and the Vosges Club.

Some 150,000 ramblers have already followed ten of the event's main itineraries since April 2000.

Promoting European citizenship

The president of the French ramblers' association (FFRP), Maurice Bruzek, says many ramblers are keen on increasing awareness of about social, development and economic issues.

The European Ramblers' Assocation's (FERP) vice president, Jean Hirshinger, added that the Euro-Rando is also aimed at promoting a greater sense of "European citizenship" by increasing consciousness of Europe's cultural and historical heritage - as well as providing an antidote to stress.

The 27 delegates of the ramblers' association are expected to sign a charter for the protection of thousands of kilometres of guided paths or sign-posted routes across Europe.

The European Parliament has scheduled an open forum on the protection of ramblers' paths on 27 September. The parliament's president, Nicole Fontaine, will be expected to receive a delegation of ramblers by 2 October.

swissinfo with agencies


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