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French minister rushes to Paris amid continuing strike

Video by Fiona CAMERON

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-02-10

As protestors in Martinique joined strikers on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in a third week of strikes against high living costs, France's Overseas Territories minister Yves Jego made a hasty retreat to Paris to discuss the situation.

Strikers in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe have been joined by protestsors in neighbouring Martinique as French Overseas Territories minister Yves Jego hastily scheduled a trip back to Paris.


Citizens in Guadeloupe are protesting about the difficult living conditions of a large majority of the island’s population, whose low wages are not keeping up with rapidly rising prices. The island is paralysed by a general strike against the expensive cost of living.


Although Jego denies his departure is anything but an ordinary professional visit to the French prime minister Francois Fillon, critics see in his sudden departure a way to get away from the virulent strikers, who are entering their twentieth day of protests.


Jego claims that negotiations between employers and workers' unions are well under way and on the verge of coming to an agreement, and that he needs to discuss the situation with French PM Fillon and Interior Minister Michèle Alliot Marie.


“Out of the 132 demands examined by all parties in the negotiations, only one hasn’t been met by a satisfactory compromise for all involved” says a statement from Jego’s office. A major stumbling block is the implementation of an inter-professional fixed-salary agreement between the six employers' unions and six workers' unions.



Date created : 2009-02-09