MARIGOT–Newly-elected Députée Claire Javois, on Tuesday, briefed reporters on her first three weeks in Paris since she was elected to the position for St. Martin and St. Barths.
She said the first week since the installation of the 577 new Députés in the National Assembly was taken up with various administrative matters, a requirement before Députés can take their seats in Parliament.
In the second week, Députés voted for the leaders of the different groups, whether right or left leaning, and for the presidents of the commissions. She disclosed she is part of a commission on social affairs.
“We started work on changing aspects of the labour law, which is to reform how businesses operate in terms of the interaction between management and staff, to develop discussions and exchanges between the two to foster better relations,” she explained. “This is quite relevant to St. Martin where businesses are closing down, but that scenario can be avoided if there are discussions and everyone makes concessions.
“I noted that at the hotel where I am employed, this method to compromise and meet half way has resulted in the hotel remaining open for 33 years.”
Javois said she did not resign from the Riu Palace at Anse Marcel where she holds a management position, but took a leave of absence for five years, permitted in the law, in order to fulfil her responsibilities in the Députée role.
“Last week Monday, President Macron met the Parliamentarians and the Prime Minister presented his master plan for the next five years,” she continued. “We had to vote on the Prime Minister’s master plan, but I abstained for the simple reason that this was someone from the right and who defected to the majority and I felt I could not give that confidence vote. But, I don’t have any problems voting for files submitted if I feel they are positive for St. Martin or St. Barths.
“The Minister of Overseas Territories Annick Giradin also met with us. All three of them pledged to provide the means for the overseas territories. I took the opportunity to explain to Minister Giradin some of the difficulties we have on the French side and that at some point we will have a meeting with her, but first the priorities must be determined by the President of the Collectivité Daniel Gibbs and his team.”
She added she is looking for a suitable office in Marigot to receive the public. It was suggested she take the office occupied by Daniel Gibbs in Galis Bay when he was depute, but she prefers to be centrally located. She disclosed she will also hire a part- time assistant/ secretary.
Javois reiterated it is the Collectivités and not her alone that must come up with the projects and the priorities that need to be lobbied in Parliament.
“I cannot take a project to Parliament without discussing first with the two heads of the Collectivité,” she emphasised. “There are no projects right now from St. Martin as we have only just entered Parliament. When I do have a project to represent it will be important to have the support of other Parliamentarians because it needs a majority for it to pass. For me, now it’s important to work along with the other Parliamentarians for mutual exchanges and then to work on the specific files for both islands.”
Asked what motivated her to enter the running for Députée, she replied. “I’ve had it in my mind for the past two years. I was a Vice President from 2007 to 2012 and had the opportunity to work on certain files for St. Martin, but realised I could do a much better job for the territory if I was elected a Députée.”
Normally speaking, the Députée will travel to Paris twice a month, but time spent there will also depend on what she is working on.