Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus : Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"What would you do?"

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

  • Israeli strikes target symbols of Hamas power

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

Americas

Racism monitor to sue over French bank's Haiti 'plunder'

Video by Siobhán SILKE

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-05-10

A racism watchdog group in France announced Friday it will file a legal suit against a state-owned bank over its role in the slave trade in Haiti even as President François Hollande ruled out reparations to the former Caribbean colony.

One of France’s leading racism watchdogs said on Friday that it will push ahead with plans to sue a state-owned bank over profits from the colonial-era slave trade and reparations extorted from Haiti, on the same day President François Hollande said Paris would not pay reparations for the country's past mistakes.

The France’s Representative Council of Black Associations (CRAN) has accused the Caisse des Depots (CDC) bank of collecting damages that France forced Haiti to pay after slavery was abolished in the Caribbean nation, which declared independence from France in 1804 following the world's first successful slave revolt.

“There are many ways France can repair its past errors. It could build a museum dedicated to slavery, it could promote education around the issue, it could pay reparations to Haiti. But Hollande refuses to do anything,” Luis-Georges Tin, CRAN’s president, told FRANCE 24.

'A double crime'

After winning its independence from France, Haiti was forced to pay-off the French government 90 million gold francs to compensate European slave-owners for their financial losses and in exchange for recognition of Haiti's autonomy.

“Haiti was the victim of a double crime. First the crime of slavery, and then this ‘ransom’ for its independence,” Tin said, adding that the reimbursement, which continued until 1946, was equivalent to $90 billion. Other sources have estimated the payment at $21 billion.

Tin said that his organization had received a promise from Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault in October of 2012 that the French government would pursue a policy of reparations with Haiti, but that the promise had since been “slapped”.

Hollande rules out compensations

“This is why we have decided to resolve this political issue in the courts,” Tin said of the impending lawsuit.

Earlier in the day President Hollande said it would be impossible to financially compensate victims for the mistakes of history.

“What has been, has been,” Hollande said in a speech in Paris to mark France's slavery remembrance day. “History cannot be rubbed out. It cannot be subjected to an accounting process that... would be impossible to complete.”

Date created : 2013-05-10

  • FRANCE

    France’s Republican Guard ‘too costly’, watchdog rules

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French president sells wine cellar to balance budget

    Read more

  • HAITI

    Haiti holds low-key quake commemoration ceremony

    Read more

COMMENT(S)