POLITICS: Jean-François Carenco, Minister Delegate for Overseas France, has been visiting Saint-Martin since last Saturday until Tuesday, October 18.


 A look back at part of this official visit with its busy schedule.

Arrived at the beginning of the afternoon on an Air France flight at Juliana airport this Saturday, October 15, the minister was welcomed by Vincent Berton, delegate prefect of the Northern Islands and Louis Mussington, president of the Collectivité. Despite a slight delay on the long-haul flight, the delegation managed to  stick to the program during the day. 


Babit Point–Oyster Pond

For his first field visit, Minister Carenco traveled to the Babit Point site in Oyster Pond to address the thorny subject of the demarcation of the border between the two parts of the island and the post-Hurricane Irma reconstruction of this part of the territory which was very impacted by the natural disaster. The meeting took place around the orientation table of Babit Point with the officials of the Collectivity and the State, without the presence of the media. 

During a press briefing, the politician considers that it is necessary to clarify the Treaty of Mont des Accords of 1648 on the entire border. A clear treaty on the subject is in progress and Louis Mussington strongly insisted that the signing of such a document must be done in Saint-Martin.

Whale Observatory – Oyster pond

During his second stop, Jean-François Carenco, still accompanied by the Prefect, the President of the Collectivity and various officials, climbed the few steps that lead to the platform of the whale observatory to discuss the issues of the Conservatoire du Littoral, again without the presence of the media. But according to the minister delegate, “the question of the Galion beach is simple, there is an elected official who has the powers to launch the discussion with its inhabitants, the coastal conservatory does not have its own policy. For him, the whole point of his visit lies in agreeing together on the measures and everyone coming together to carry them out: "After having felt and absorbed things, doing politics without feeling moved, that makes no sense. »

Cul-de-Sac pier 

This sequence dedicated to the ecological scourge represented by sargassum caught the full attention of Jean-François Carenco. Aware of the magnitude of this environmental issue, the Minister first praised Louis Mussington for his efficient and rapid management of the exceptionally massive groundings that occurred during this 2022 season and then recalled the State's support for anti-Sargassum devices. up to 80%. Indeed, additional funding was approved by Mr. Carenco during the steering committee on August 1st. Regarding the next tourist season, the State will invest an additional €150.000 to combat Sargassum, with €60.000 for the installation of 4 sensors and €90.000 for the installation of 2 floating booms. Reflection on collection at sea and storage in a place close to the landfill is in progress. Louis Mussington confirms the political will to protect Cul-de-Sac Bay by taking the right steps to eliminate Sargassum and says he is encouraged by Minister Carenco's responsive response.

Grand Case Beach Club

Upon his arrival on site, a guard of honor made up of elected officials and tourism stakeholders including Jean-François Billot, manager of the Grand-Case Beach Club, vice-president of the Saint-Martin Tourism Club and personal guide for the occasion, awaited the Delegate Minister for Overseas Territories and the Prefect. 

The sequence began with the visit of the anti-cyclonic shelter financed by the European Regional Development Fund at 50% which is used as a conference room throughout the year. The State convoy then headed for the terrace of the Grand-Case Beach Club for a round table on tourism in Saint-Martin in the presence of the President of the COM Louis Mussington, the vice-presidents Alain Richardson and Bernadette Davis , the president of the tourist office Valérie Damaseau, parliamentarians Annick Pétrus and Frantz Gumbs, representatives of the tourism club and the CCISM. At the end of an hour's meeting, three main areas were discussed during the tense microphone: training of young people and the intervention of tourism executives, security and tax exemption. Since Irma's passage, the capacity of hotel rooms has gone from 5.000 to 1.000. Four projects are currently underway to increase this hotel capacity because, according to the minister, “the tourist effort must be made so that people work and that the population of Saint-Martin is in the progression of the activity. Twice a year, parliamentarians who are the voice of Saint-Martin, economic actors and political decision-makers will meet at the ministry in Paris to take stock of the situation and its evolution towards "a general philosophy of simple action and efficient”.

The words of the president of the Community

After this first day of official visit, Louis Mussington declared to feel a great satisfaction at the end of this one insofar as the Minister Jean-François Carenco is an open man, ready to dialogue with a real will to accompany Saint-Martin by having already taken the fold, within the framework of an official visit, to come on our territory longer than previously, request emitted by the president of the Collectivity during their last exchange in Paris. _Vx

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