November 28, 2021

FRANCE: Entire Population Of Guadeloupe Defended It's Residents Against Covid19 mRNA Vaccine Mandates. French Military Was Kicked Out, Macron Postponed Mandate Will Consider Autonomy

Reuters News
written by Staff
Saturday November 27, 2021

PARIS - France is willing to discuss autonomy for the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe if it is in the interests of the people who live there, government minister Sebastien Lecornu said.

Guadeloupe and the nearby French island of Martinique have seen several days of protests against COVID-19 measures that have spilled over into violence.

Lecornu, the minister for France's overseas territories, said in a YouTube video issued late on Friday that certain elected officials in Guadeloupe had raised the question of autonomy, changing its status as an overseas region.

"The government is ready to talk about this. There are no bad debates, as long as those debates serve to resolve the real everyday problems of people in Guadeloupe," he said.

That was one of a series of initiatives he said the government in Paris would be taking in Guadeloupe, including improving healthcare, infrastructure projects, and a scheme to create jobs for young people.

The French government this week announced that it would be postponing a requirement that public sector workers in Guadeloupe and Martinique get a COVID-19 vaccination. read more

That had sparked protests, fanning long-standing grievances over living standards and the relationship with Paris.

In Guadeloupe there is a historic mistrust of the French government's handling of health crises after many people were exposed to toxic pesticides used in banana plantations in the 1970s.
FRANCE 24 English published November 27, 2021: France postpones vaccine mandate after violent unrest in Martinique and Guadeloupe

France24 News
written by Staff
Friday November 26, 2021

France has postponed implementing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health workers in Martinique and Guadeloupe after the measure spurred widespread protests on the French territories in which police officers were injured and journalists attacked.

The two Caribbean islands have been hit by unrest over the last week after the French government imposed tougher measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Compulsory vaccinations for health workers, a measure already introduced on the French mainland, had fueled resentment among the islands' majority Black population.

The French health ministry said in a statement after a crisis government meeting on Friday that it had decided to postpone to Dec. 31 "finalizing the implementation of the vaccine mandate" in Martinique and Guadeloupe.

It had put those who refused inoculation on unpaid leave but now says it will give those suspended more time for individual "dialogue" with their managers while still getting paid.

Some on the islands have called the mandate a throwback to France's slavery era, insisting that they should be allowed to make their own choices about health treatment.

Journalists attacked

The French government meeting came as the riots in Martinique were still ongoing, a source close to the French overseas minister said.

"Last night was clearly more intense than the nights before," a local spokesman for the French state told Reuters on Friday.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said authorities in Martinique and Guadeloupe had made 10 arrests after shots were fired on Thursday night, injuring several people.

Journalists from French television, news and photo agencies were attacked on Thursday night, media group Altice said in a statement, confirming earlier remarks by the minister. One police officer was seriously injured and needed surgery, local authorities said.

Prosecutors said masked protesters had also tried to set fire to the gate of the official residence of the prefect, the most senior representative of the French central state there, but no significant damage had been caused.

In Guadeloupe, where protests began last week, there is a historic mistrust of the government's handling of health crises after many people were systematically exposed to toxic pesticides used in banana plantations in the 1970s.

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