MJP President Louis Mussington (right) talks at a press conference on Tuesday with Bernadette Davis (left).
MARIGOT–President of Movement for Justice and Prosperity (MJP) Louis Mussington told reporters Tuesday that the Team Gibbs decision via the Députée Claire Javois to abstain on the vote for the Prime Minister’s general declaration on July 4, 2017, on the floor of the National Assembly was in MJP’s view “irresponsible and regrettable.” “We felt strongly it was an opportunity to support the Government’s public policies given that the needs of St. Martin are important and urgent,” he said. “We have a budgetary situation that doesn’t permit us to carry out all our public policies. We need financial assistance in the area of education and the Revenu Solidarité Active (RSA) benefit that costs the Collectivité 16 million euros per year, and which has to be reviewed and amended.
“There’s the issue of the organic law and organisation of State services to be modified and improved, and the financial support needed for the Collectivité to improve infrastructure development.
“Supporting the Government at this time is important in paving the way for us to approach the different ministries with important files for St. Martin. When you are part of that ruling majority, it facilitates entry to the Ministries where we need to get the attention of the Ministers.”
Commenting on the 10th anniversary of the Collectivité on July 15, he congratulated the men and women, who ten years ago saw the need for a change in political status. But added it was unfortunate that many promises made back in 2006 and 2007 by the Minister of Overseas Territories and Minister of the Interior were not kept.
“We must therefore hold hands and have a united approach to make sure the government modifies our organic law, and that certain specifics are included, as well as having a reorganisation of State services.
“No longer can we have State subsidies distributed largely in the region of Guadeloupe, while St. Martin is completely ignored. That’s totally unacceptable and needs to be addressed. We need to be supported financially, whether it’s in the field of education, sports, social affairs, etc. I advocate that the Députée, the Senator, the majority party and opposition, all come together to tackle the government.”
He said the Opposition have a meeting scheduled with President Daniel Gibbs on July 20, to discuss the way forward on these issues.
Mussington reminded that the organic law has provisions to modify education aspects on issues of bilingualism, and hiring and training of bilingual local teachers.
“Another reason we supported the Macron government is because of their pledge to reduce the number of pupils in classes to 12, and that’s an important development for St. Martin. At the moment, only French Quarter is in a priority zone, but we want the policy to be extended to the whole of St. Martin.”