Interdepartmental Committee for the Reconstruction of SXM / Claire Guion-Firmin: "Government announcements are disappointing and trompe l'oeil"

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"Government announcements are disappointing and trompe l'oeil," said Saint-Martin MP Claire Guion-Firmin, following the 5th interdepartmental committee for the reconstruction of the islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy held last Monday in Paris

"Disappointing because they do not correspond to the announcements made in Saint-Martin by the President of the Republic, they are also not consistent with the reassuring words of the Prime Minister and his Government. Therefore, we can ask ourselves: were they postures or a communication strategy?

In trompe l'oeil because the miraculous figures, the "jackpot" as goes even to headline the national press, do not correspond to net financial aid. Of the 493,6 million euros of national solidarity in total announced, the State integrates the aid of the European Union, the reconstruction of its own infrastructure - prefecture and gendarmerie - the agreement of a loan and a moratorium which , as their names indicate, must be reimbursed!

The Collectivity has submitted to the State a multi-annual reconstruction investment plan of 210 million euros but only 21 million euros of special funds will be granted to the COM and if it is a gesture appreciated, it is not up to what was clearly stated by Emmanuel Macron: "We will do quickly, we will do well and we will do better, I want this reconstruction to be exemplary and sustainable" (12 Sept. 2017 in Saint-Martin).

Therefore, how could the community present a budget for April 12 without the funds necessary to secure and rebuild housing, roads and the rehabilitation of schools?

The interministerial delegate, representative of the State, underlined it “The French State made a point of favoring a logic of national solidarity, whereas it was not held to anything there because of the statutes of the two islands, which including fiscal autonomy ”. Are we accountable for national solidarity? Victim of our autonomy?

I cannot bring myself to believe that France, which has pledged before the UN to devote 0,7% of its wealth to international solidarity and to the development of the poorest countries, understates the aid it provides to one of its territories after such a natural disaster.

There is no doubt that the next inter-ministerial meeting in June where a multi-year catch-up plan will be presented will be an opportunity to prove to us that national solidarity is not a simple concept or a bargaining chip ”.

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