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HomeLOCAL NEWSBlockades and looting on the French side: The Prefect calls for reason

Blockades and looting on the French side: The Prefect calls for reason

MARIGOT: The Prefect, Serge Gouteyron and the President of the COM, Daniel Gibbs “condemn with the utmost firmness the violent acts committed these last twenty-four hours on the territory.”

Barricades, fires, thefts, acts of vandalism, mortar fire on police officers, intimidation of motorists… Saint Martin, the destination that is so much dreamed of and nicknamed the “Friendly Island” was the scene of particularly violent acts perpetrated yesterday. In particular in Baie Nettlé and Marigot where several shopkeepers were targeted by a handful of individuals with unacceptable behavior.

As a reminder, it is soon the beginning of the high tourist season.

The reactions of the authorities:

The Prefect, Serge Gouteyron:

“While the people of St. Martin aspire to a normal life and social peace, a few individuals are trying in a very localized way, to cause disorder without any other claims than those of the law of the street.

After four years of economic, health and social difficulties, the island does not need this, while the State, neighborhood representatives, associations and elected officials have strengthened the dialogue to improve the daily life of the inhabitants, to bring a future to the youth and to develop the territory.

I solemnly appeal to everyone’s reason and positive reaction. It is high time to move forward.

The President of the Collectivity, Daniel Gibbs:

“I condemn in the strongest terms the exactions committed last night and this morning on the territory. How can we tolerate the fact that residents are being held hostage and businesses are being attacked?

There is no justification for such violence and intimidation, and even less for a few people to hold a neighborhood hostage.

Saint Martin has suffered many scourges since the passage of Hurricane Irma in 2017, we have overcome these crises and we are now in a phase of economic and social development that should benefit everyone, with a post-Covid recovery to consolidate and a tourist season that looks  to be picking up at last! These irrational attitudes are therefore collective suicide! Because the harm that is done today, it is the people of St. Martin who suffer. Why destroy what we have taken so long to rebuild?

We have been able to renew the dialogue with the spokespersons of the social movements, with one goal in mind: to find a favorable outcome and to work together to respond to the social emergencies that are real and worrying. Concrete actions have been announced in recent days, both in terms of vocational training for people seeking employment and reintegration, and in terms of financing structuring projects for the territory in order to create jobs locally. The inclusion clause added to public contracts will guarantee this priority to the inhabitants of Saint-Martin. More than 18,000 hours of work experience will be devoted to job seekers for the three construction projects of the new 600 and 900 colleges and the Concordia media library alone, which will inject €47.1 million into the territory’s economy.

“Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot!”

I therefore appeal for calm and reason. Let’s not fall into gratuitous violence that will inevitably lead to disastrous economic consequences and will further aggravate existing social difficulties. Let us be in co-construction rather than in destruction. The priority is to work together to find solutions. I repeat: let us not shoot ourselves in the foot! Saint-Martin and the people of Saint-Martin deserve better than chaos. As for the Government, I appeal to its responsibility, its responsiveness and its ability to listen. A month ago, I made proposals, notably on compulsory vaccination and on the free choice of vaccines. Unfortunately, no response has been received to date. The State must also take into account the crisis situation of our hospital by reinforcing its material and human means. An adapted and respectful health policy must therefore be applied in overseas, in order to ease social tensions. And to put an end to this worrying crisis of mistrust against the institutions of the Republic”.



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