Sarkozy offers autonomy vote for Martinique

27th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has offered to hold a referendum on autonomy for the Caribbean island of Martinique.

Martinique - French President Nicolas Sarkozy has offered to hold a referendum on autonomy for the Caribbean island of Martinique. The French leader made the announcement at the start of a visit to Martinique and Guadeloupe, two overseas departments where a general strike descended into weeks of rioting in February.

Sarkozky emphatically ruled out full independence. Polls suggest a majority of Martinique's inhabitants only want greater autonomy and want to remain part of France. February's riots followed demands for higher wages and lower living costs.

The protests were fuelled by tensions between the islands' black majority and local whites, who control a large part of the economy.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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