French minister flies to Caribbean islands

AFP
November 29, 2021

Paris: A French minister flew to the protest-hit islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean on Sunday after raising the possibility of giving the Paris-ruled territories greater...

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Paris: A French minister flew to the protest-hit islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean on Sunday after raising the possibility of giving the Paris-ruled territories greater autonomy.

Sebastien Lecornu, who is responsible for overseas French territories, said Friday the government was ready to discuss giving the islands a degree of self-government in a bid to end more than 10 days of protests and rioting sparked by Covid-19 restrictions.

It sparked immediate condemnation from opposition politicians five months ahead of presidential elections, with far-right Marine Le Pen accusing him of "trying to buy off the most radical independence groups" and being ready to "give away" the islands.

In an interview published Sunday in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, Lecornu defended the idea and denied opening the door to them splitting from France. "Autonomy is certainly not independence: it already exists for certain overseas territories to various degrees," he explained.



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