Above: Point a Pitre, Guadeloupe (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
French Overseas Minister Victorin Lurel urged the French overseas departments to “break the chains of fate” in his 2013 New Year’s address.
Guadeloupe’s Lurel, who first sent out a thought to the French hostages currently being held in Nigeria (one of whom, Thierry Dol, is a native of Martinique), said he believed the French territories were “best placed to show what France may be tomorrow: a land of innovation and excellence.”
He mentioned areas of promise like agriculture and sustainable development, renewable energy, tourism and transport.
“We’ll break these chains of fate that [people] claim prevent us from fully assuming our future,” he said.
But he said that the path for the territories, which still receive subsidies from the French government, is paved with “many obstacles.”
“There are efforts and sacrifices to make,” he said. “But the challenge is exciting.”
He also mentioned the 100th anniversary this year of the birth of Aime Cesaire, the legendary poet, writer and politician from Martinique.
Lurel’s address followed the official publication last week of one of the key measures of a new law aiming to ease the cost of living in the French departments.