Mussington: ‘The people’s land will not be sold on my watch’ | THE DAILY HERALD

Graphic showing the three parcels to be auctioned.

~ Mass demonstration planned against Old House auction ~

MARIGOT–Collectivité President Louis Mussington, speaking on SOS Radio Monday morning, said the Collectivité’s intention is to buy the entire remaining Beauperthuy succession properties, to safeguard the land for the future generations of St. Martiners.

He said as President it is his duty to protect the people from unscrupulous investors who “have no interest in St. Martin other than commercial gain.”

He accused the court-appointed administrator who is charged with selling the Beauperthuy succession properties on behalf of over 300 heirs in the USA, Venezuela, France and other countries of “disrespecting St. Martin and its elected body and of choosing “to go ahead and sell despite knowing the Collectivité’s intentions.”

The auction notice for the Old House was placed on page three of the New York Times and could easily have been missed had it not been spotted by a keen-eyed reader who relayed the notice back to St. Martin.

“I told the administrator when I had two meetings with him in Paris that we (the Collectivité) is interested in the total amount of acres of succession land to be sold, in other words we will buy it,” Mussington told host Jacques “Billy D” Hamlet. “We simply cannot let financial speculators take this land away on the backs of St. Martiners and make huge profits. I’m very concerned about the future generations, that they keep their land, buy it back from the Collectivité, build a house on it, and live their lives.”

He added the succession land has to be re-valued as some areas are non-constructible and should be in the region of 25 million euros and not 46 million euros stated by the administrator.

“In the French system you have to go through the valuation of domain land but the administrator is running away from that as it has less value.”

The succession land in question stretches from Leader Price in Orient Bay and all the way to French Quarter. Mussington said, he has spoken to Préfet Vincent Berton about the situation and will also call the Overseas Ministry this week to be sure it is aware of what is happening in St. Martin.

He also disclosed, he has been in Guadeloupe last week to discuss the situation in St. Martin with Etablissement Publique Foncière (EPF), a land management institution.

“Thanks to the agreement we have with them, this is a legal body that can purchase land on our behalf, the cost of which we have to pay back when we can,” Mussington disclosed. “They are ready to put up the money for us and will send a letter straight away to the domain services to do a valuation in St. Martin.

“Once we have that valuation in our hands we can go back to negotiating with the administrator and say this is what we are offering on behalf of the St. Martin people for the entire properties.”

The idea behind the Collectivité buying the land is firstly to safeguard it, keeping it in the patrimony of St. Martin, and secondly it can be bought back at a fair price. This is what was done with the Webster property in Griselle, Orient Bay.

“We managed to buy the property and now we want to give it back to Rudy Webster through a reasonable settlement acceptable to him and us,” Mussington explained.

He asked the population from both sides of the island to be prepared for a “people’s movement” at the Old House by way of a demonstration against the planned auction and “to make sure the French Government and President Emmanuel Macron know that what is happening in St. Martin is unacceptable.” The date for this will be announced soon.

Questioned separately about the Air Antilles situation, Mussington said he is anticipating the first test flights will take place between April 13 and 15 and when they are concluded the air transport certification CTA will be delivered to the airline on April 19 at which times flights can resume.

Source: The Daily Herald