Post-Irma reconstruction (2/2): President Gibbs takes stock of the situation two years after the cyclone


During a press briefing organized at the end of last week, President Daniel Gibbs, in the presence of elected officials, had discussed the reconstruction of Saint-Martin and the projects to come. Second part of this press conference…

Since November 23, 2018, Saint-Martin has chaired the Conference of Presidents of the Outermost Regions, as well as the association of the ORs. On February 6 and 7, 2020, the territory will host the CP-RUP Conference for the first time. The opportunity for the President to show that the reconstruction of Saint-Martin is indeed a reality. "I will make sure to send strong messages, at the highest level of the State and of the European Commission", because "our demands are not the fruit of recriminations from a population of 'spoiled children' (…) Obtain simply what we are entitled to is not "unhealthy", but essential to succeed in catching up in terms of structuring investments ".

Daniel Gibbs recalls that France has obtained 46 million euros from the European Union and, to date, the Collectivity has raised invoices for 33,2 million euros and benefited, from the State, "of only 11,9 million euros of reimbursements". The President affirms that the Saint-Martin residents should benefit, like all other French citizens, from public policies made available to all French territories, such as the “Grand Plan d'Investissement” of 57,1 billion euros, or the “Grand Loan” of 60 million euros.

For true autonomy, Daniel Gibbs recalled the structural demands such as, a full-time prefect, a vice-rector, an INSEE office, a prison for short sentences, Météo France coverage…

The President wants to be part of Strategy 5.0, first of all, the "Zero exclusion", and for that it is necessary to make the government aware of the rate of non-use of social benefits in Saint-Martin, territory which comes under common law on social security, “Zero carbon” with projects in the field of photovoltaic and geothermal energy. “Zero waste”, with in particular the management and recovery of waste, “Zero pollutant”, and the current pollution with bromates in drinking water networks impose an “urgent need to accelerate the rate of renewal of pipes drinking water ”. Fifth and last point, “Zero vulnerability”, with the funding, by the State, of prevention and protection structures, which still remains “virtual”.

In conclusion, President Gibbs affirmed that we must "be constructive, without letting go of anything, without ever forgetting the imperative need to preserve our unity, our Saint Martin identity and our social cohesion. We must be united more than ever. And I address myself there, as much to the inhabitants of this island, as to our institutional and private partners ”._RM


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