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Macron expected in French Guiana in a tense climate

Ⓒ POOL/AFP/Archives – Etienne LAURENT – | President Emmanuel Macron at Orsay, near Paris, October 25, 2017

Emmanuel Macron arrives Thursday in French Guiana, in a tense climate, the collective Pou Lagwiyann ​​Dekole (For Guyana takes off) hearing good to be heard to demand the President respect the agreements signed after the social movement that paralyzed the territory in March -April.

The head of state, who will spend about 48 hours on the spot, comes to say “he will hold these commitments,” assured the Elysee, with a goal: “take problems at the root.”

But from Wednesday evening, nearly 300 people gathered in Cayenne to demand compliance with the agreement and the collective called on the population to mobilize Thursday during a march in the capital of Guyana. “The social is dying, delinquency remains,” could be read on a banner.

The five-week protest movement was concluded on April 21 by the Guyana Accord, in which the former government signed a € 1.08 billion emergency plan, signed sectoral agreements and “took act “of a request for 2.1 billion euros of additional measures.

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – jody amiet – | Pou Lagwiyann ​​Dekole collective spokesman, Davy Rimane, in Cayenne, April 20, 2017

But “for the moment the situation has not changed”, objected Davy Rimane, one of the representatives of the collective that requires the application of the agreement.

Expected to Cayenne late morning (17:00 in Paris), Emmanuel Macron will try to meet the expectations of Guyanese, especially in terms of security and education. He will give a press conference Friday at 08:00 in the prefecture of Cayenne.

Tense situation, therefore, for this first trip overseas since his election, except for emergency travel to the West Indies after Hurricane Irma. He wanted to come “very quickly” overseas, says the Elysee, while his two predecessors had waited more for their first trip ultramarine, also in Guyana.

– Migratory pressure and space center –

The Head of State is accompanied by the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and several ministers, Gérard Darmanin (Public Accounts), Annick Girardin (Overseas), Jean-Michel Blanquer (Education).

At 7,000 km from Paris, the territory, large as Portugal (83,000 km2) for about 254,000 inhabitants accumulates difficulties and delays: massive illegal immigration from Brazil, Surinam or Haiti, growing insecurity, isolated communities, failing health services , unsuitable school system, very high unemployment rate (23%).

Immediately after his arrival, Emmanuel Macron must go to Maripasoula (southwest to the river border of Suriname), the largest French commune, subjected to a very strong migratory pressure. The interior of the territory is also the scene of underground gold mining, which increases insecurity and causes problems of pollution of rivers. According to the government, the presence of Gérard Darmanin is explained in particular because it has “the responsibility of customs”.

Returning to Cayenne around 18:30, Emmanuel Macron will participate in a Republican dinner that the mayors of Guyana have decided to boycott to denounce “the lack of a meeting time” with the head of state.

Change of scenery Friday. Emmanuel Macron will visit the Kourou Space Center where he will be shown activities around the launcher of the Ariane rocket. Kourou, showcase of the Guyanese economy, but also symbol for the population of social inequalities while other municipalities have neither electricity nor running water.

Mr Macron will then have lunch with the Presidents of the Outermost Regions (ORs, the nine overseas territories of the European Union). Saturday morning, he must finally speak during the Assises de l’Outre-mer.

Emmanuel Macron has already visited Guyana during the election campaign. Davy Rimane, a member of the group, said Wednesday that the candidate Macron had said: “I will respect the agreements of Guyana and I will go even further”.

Caz-dch / chr / phc

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