I am not Santa Claus, says French president on visit to French Guiana

French President Emmanuel Macron

CAYENNE, French Guiana — Following events in French Guiana last March and the promises made by the former government, the French President Emmanuel Macron traveled to the French overseas region, accompanied by the president of the European Commission, Jean Claude Junker, on the occasion of the 22nd Conference of the European Ultra Peripheral Regions.

As soon as he arrived in French Guiana, the French president wanted to set the record straight, declaring: “I am not Santa Claus because the Guianese are not children, I am here with ambition for French Guiana but I did not come to make promises, that time is over.

“The philosophy that is mine is not to arrive with billions, I know that some ask for more and more because I have a confession to you, the billions that I give are yours… There is a commitment of 1.1 billion Euros that has been taken, it will be held over the coming years, but behind these are projects that we must develop, the approach that I want that we have, with the president of the Territorial Collective of Guiana, with all the elected officials, the civil society is to build the project that will be yours, the project of Guiana, it is the very heart of the Overseas Regions.”

Macron also emphasized the importance of regional integration of French overseas territories: “The French West Indians want to be able to radiate in the Caribbean and exchange with those with whom they will have to trade or to develop academic relations, to register our territories in this regional identity is to make it succeed, to make it a relay of growth and that’s why I want to make each of our territories relays for companies, including for companies from mainland France to succeed, go project on markets where it is not and make our territories overseas development platforms in expanding territories.”

Regional integration will be discussed at the 13th Regional Conference on the Caribbean and Guiana which, after Guiana last year, will take place this year in Guadeloupe from 15 to 17 November.



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