Opposition calls for legal action against the French

POSTED: 03/25/11 12:09 PM

MARIGOT/St. Martin – The opposition party in the Territorial Council on French St. Martin says that serious legal actions will be taken against the French government in order to collect the funds owed to St. Martin. The Opposition Party leader Alain Richardson said in a release that it is clear that the reduction of the draft budget for 2011 which amounts to some Euros 119 million while the 2010 budget was Euros 142 million is because of political or deliberate choice. This drop in the budget for 2011 is of the result of a decrease in forecasted revenues and a threat and danger to the future of the Collectivity. He describes the actions of the UP/ UMP who has been at the helm of the Collectivity since 2007 as “irresponsible drifts, choices, incompetence and blindness.” “The inaction, the guilty silence and the accomplice attitude of the same majority which allowed the French Government to get away scot free while evading its obligations and commitments to the financial compensation owed for the transfer of competences,” Richardson said. The Opposition group has been “sounding the alarm” since 2008 about this situation to the point where they successfully made the Territorial Council agree to adopt deliberations calling for action. During these deliberations in 2009 they called on the president of the Collectivity Frantz Gumbs to make all provisions including taking action against the French Government to obtain the compensation owed to St. Martin. It was mentioned that with the current draft budget, “there is no room for adjustments and management and no safety margin in event of unforeseen such as natural or other disasters.” “The budget barely covers the compulsory expenditures,” Richardson said. He added, “The social needs are immense and are constantly increasing especially in cases such as youth affairs, senior citizens, dependent and disabled persons, assistance to families in need, which is due to the high level of unemployment. There is also a need for public intervention and economic stimulation and actions, which are aimed at attracting foreign and private investors in key sectors of the economy. There is need for support of local companies, incentive measures to stimulate business and job creation and the training and the professionalization of the labour force. It is clear that the 2011 budget does not cater to these critical needs and as a result the future of the Collectivity is in serious trouble.”

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