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The president of the Caledonian government looks ahead to the post-referendum

Health crisis requires, the president of the collegiate government of New Caledonia, Louis Mapou, did not deliver his general policy statement in the usual Congress enclosure, too small, but at the Tjibaou cultural center. Perhaps the splendor of the place and its illustrious surname have influenced the moderate tone of this river speech of nearly two hours, by the first head of the independentist executive since the Nouméa agreement of May 5, 1998, elected on July 8.

Contrary to the prevailing tensions, Mr. Mapou, tenor of the National Union for Independence (UNI-FLNKS), refused to « To fall into pessimism » and called to « To transcend in a new New Caledonia ». « We propose to organize the actions of the government around the only essential backbone: the bond of belonging to this land of New Caledonia, where the objective of building a community of destiny still awaits », he said, articulating his perspective around « Four little words and one big idea: identity, sharing and common destiny ».

Delayed by the brutal Covid-19 epidemic, which has affected the Caillou since September 6, this declaration occurred in the deleterious climate surrounding the third and last referendum on independence under the Nouméa agreement, on December 12 . This crucial vote will take place without the participation of the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) and its nationalist allies, who had unsuccessfully asked the state to postpone it to respect the time of Kanak mourning customs, while more than half of the 276 dead from Covid-19 belong to this community.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers « Let’s respect Kanak mourning, postpone the referendum in New Caledonia »

New state subsidy

Answering the question « What must be done so that our diversity becomes country? » « , the chief executive suggested to create from 2022 a « Caledonia festival » multicultural, inviting the human kaleidoscope of the island to « A permanent process of reclaiming history ». He also declared « Great cause of this government the fight against social inequalities » – 50,000 people live below the poverty line, for a population of 270,000 inhabitants, and the differences in wealth are twice those of the metropolis -, against educational inequalities, against the high cost of living and violence against women .

To face the  » emergency room «  What are the deficits of social accounts and bloodless public finances, Mr. Mapou recalled that New Caledonia had just benefited from a new State subsidy of 4.8 billion Pacific francs (or CFP) (40 million euros) for Covid expenses and that, in addition to the loan of 28.6 billion CFP (240 million euros) contracted in 2020, the State had just granted a new guarantee « For a maximum amount of 25 billion [CFP] « . The President of the Government announced « A fundamental tax reform » as well as’« A plan to revive and diversify the economy ». « Everyone now agrees that structural reforms must be carried out », he said, without dwelling on the culpable immobility for years of New Caledonian political leaders, denounced by civil society actors.

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