French Guiana protestors press demands

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CAYENNE: The movement behind more than three weeks of social unrest in French Guiana said on Monday it would press its action until the government signs a draft accord on an emergency package and reopens talks on further funds. Activists are protesting against what they say is decades of under-investment in the French territory in South America, paralyzed by a general strike which 37 unions called on March 25. Locals have been pressing demands for a “Marshall Plan” of French aid, along the lines of the huge US economic support given to help western Europe to recover after World War II. The seven-page accord “to suspend the movement in its present form”, drawn up by the “Collective to Get Guiana Moving” spearheading the protests, was sent to the government on Sunday. “To have a swift signature, we have an obligation to harden the movement,” Valerie Vanoukia, representative of very small companies in Guiana, said on behalf of the collective after a general meeting calling on the population to remobilize. She said the barricades which had been lifted for Easter would be back in place from Monday night. The draft accord calls for an emergency plan of more than one billion euros ($1.07 billion) put forward by the government and proposes reopening dialogue on an additional two billion euros the protestors have demanded so far.

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AFP

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