Jean Castex “
Tuesday, December 8 the violence of recent days in New Caledonia around the sale of the Brazilian nickel plant Vale, stressing that “
the absolute priority
” of the State was to “
safeguard the 3000 jobs
”at this strategic site in the south of the archipelago.
Read also: New Caledonia: roadblocks and violence between demonstrators and the police
The Prime Minister was questioned during questions to the government in the National Assembly by the president of the UDI and deputy Jean-Christophe Lagarde, on behalf of the two deputies from New Caledonia, Philippe Dunoyer and Philippe Gomes, on the growing tensions around the takeover of the nickel plant by an international and local consortium.
Blockades and roadblocks continued on Tuesday in New Caledonia where independence activists and traditional Kanak authorities are opposed to the sale of the plant to the Prony Resources consortium, led in particular by the commodity trader Trafigura, based in Switzerland.
Clashes have already taken place Monday and Sunday between the police and activists.
The State must henceforth pilot - at the highest level - this file
", demanded the UDI deputies, affirming that "
New Caledonia is on the brink of political, economic and social chaos
Your government must therefore take control and force Vale to postpone the deadline (of sale, editor's note) set unilaterally, at December 31,
" they added.
Recent events are worrying,
" admitted the Prime Minister.
The recent disturbances which have broken out, which have led to the injuries of several gendarmes and which I would like to condemn here firmly (...) are linked to the transfer of the southern plant
", which "
has difficulty finding buyers
", explained Jean Castex.
In this case, "
the State seeks to save the 3,000 direct and indirect jobs, it is our absolute priority,
" he added.
Jean Castex underlined “that
today there is only one viable offer for the recovery
I can assure you that this offer, which we support, is accompanied by strict conditions that we have set, in particular on the financial and environmental package
", he assured.
These conditions could be discussed until the final signature scheduled for next January
", he added, insisting on the need to continue the dialogue "
until a negotiated solution is reached with all the players
Overseas Minister Sébastien Lecornu is due to bring together the main Caledonian political players on this issue on Thursday by videoconference, but the separatists have indicated that they would boycott the meeting.