President Hanson reacts to French-side blockade

MARIGOT—President Aline Hanson last night gave her reaction to the blocking of the main road in Orient Bay on Wednesday.

“Following the meeting that was held this afternoon in the Préfecture, I have taken note of the main grievance of three restaurant proprietors who refuse to sign their contracts for parcel AW34 on Orient Beach claiming the rent is too high,” she said in the release. “The condition to lift the blockades would be to grant them nine months of free rent to these three persons.

“I should mention that the Executive Council already met on February 17, 2016, and voted to reduce the monthly rent of the restaurants from 2,500 euros to 2,200 euros. I would also add that the price of the temporary occupation permit (AOT) has been re-evaluated in 2014 for the whole of the territory in a coherent and realistic analysis of the commercial areas.

“Presently the Collectivité does not have all the data in hand to be able to rule on this specific request. Tomorrow Thursday we will analyze the ins and outs of this situation knowing that the Executive Council will make a collegiate decision in respect of the legality and the general interest of all St. Martiners.

“I should add that the vast majority of AOT recipients have already signed their contracts and are running their businesses. Thus, the demands of these three tenants cannot justify a road blockade of this magnitude.

The negotiation is ongoing, and cannot be done under the pressure of blockade. I asked the protesters to lift the blockades to allow the free movement of our fellow citizens and visitors who are vital to our economy.”

Source: The Daily Herald President Hanson reacts to French-side blockade