The President visited Paris and Brussels from June 25 to 29, 2018, to attend several working meetings.
On Monday June 25, Daniel Gibbs first met with the Prime Minister's overseas adviser, Xavier Brunetière, then with the Minister for Overseas Annick Girardin.
Several important issues were discussed during these two interviews. Among the points discussed, the payment of the Overseas Relief Fund (FSOM) for individuals and businesses, still pending, 10 months after IRMA; 1500 files are currently pending. At the request of the President, the State undertook to resolve the situation which penalizes many business leaders, in particular taxi drivers who are not eligible for this fund and for whom the State has undertaken to find intermediate solutions.
Solidarity Fund of the European Union: where are we now?
The President also insisted on the blockages linked to reimbursements under the European Union Solidarity Fund (FSUE). There too many files are awaiting finalization, Matignon will make sure to speed up the process.
Regarding the 6 M € granted by the State after Irma for the reconstruction of social housing in Saint-Martin, the community has still not received this amount. The Minister confirmed that the community would receive this money shortly to be able to distribute it among the three social landlords in the territory under a framework agreement.
Sargassum: don't forget Saint Martin!
The President also insisted on the problem of Sargassum algae and the need not to forget Saint Martin during the distribution of the envelope of 3 million euros released by the State to come to the aid of the Antilles islands impacted by this phenomenon of environmental pollution. Saint-Martin should receive a part of this sum, remains to define the amount… the community is also eligible for program 123 of the overseas budget to cover certain operating costs inherent in the implementation of training and insertion sites for collecting algae. As for the investment component, calls for projects led by ADEME were recently launched.
Regarding the taking into account of the GDP of Saint-Martin in the National GDP and the creation of statistical tools on the territory of the community (endless request of the territorial executive), the Minister of Overseas indicated that the Collectivity would have the possibility of having its desideratas included in the next convergence plan.
RSA: in Saint-Martin to manage!
On the question of taking charge of the RSA, the Minister confirmed that only Guyana and Mayotte were concerned by a renationalisation of this social benefit. According to the government, the community of Saint-Martin will have to continue to bear this burden and is therefore invited to review its allocation criteria, to strengthen its control policy and to optimize the addressing system in order to better support this expense.
The question of maintaining a competitive post-LODEOM exemption from social security contributions (support for SMEs) was raised by President Gibbs. According to the Minister, the improvement in tax exemption and arbitration will continue until the next Finance Law Program. Saint-Martin should not have any specific device. The Overseas Ministry, on the other hand, has committed to release € 100 in aid as part of an Atout France / Business France partnership intended to support hoteliers in Saint-Martin on engineering projects. (continuation of the article in our edition of tomorrow).
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All these trips, which are only useful to those who make them, are expensive… and during this time the people support the incompetence of our elected officials. A President who takes himself for a king or almost, when he is only the equivalent of a mayor of a small provincial town…. Where is the money received after IRMA ..?