Emmanuel Macron greeted Thursday, July 29 the 60th anniversary of the status of Wallis and Futuna, "
the most atypical of the Republic
", which, according to him, would benefit from changing if the officials of this Pacific archipelago wished.
Read also: Wallis and Futuna have become free from Covid-19 again
60 years ago, on July 29, 1961, Wallis and Futuna became a French Overseas Territory
", recalled the Head of State in a message recorded in Papeete on the last day of his trip to French Polynesia. . He met there on Tuesday evening a delegation of political, customary and religious leaders, from Wallis and Futuna, unable to go there, as he wished, because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Welcoming the "
" between the territory and France, Emmanuel Macron judged that the 1961 statute, which has hardly changed since, was "
certainly the most atypical of the Republic, with its prefect in charge of the executive. , its territorial council where three customary kings sit, its constituencies instead of the communes
”. But “
this specificity does not imply fixity. It could, doubtless would gain, to take root more in the Republic
”, according to him. "
It is a reflection which belongs to you (...) The State will be at your disposal, attentive to accompany you in these evolutions
", in "
a consensual manner when the time comes
", he added in this video message .
An archipelago of 11,500 inhabitants
Local elected officials would like executive power to be transferred from the state to the Territorial Assembly based in Mata Utu.
Located 16,000 km from the metropolis and populated by 11,500 inhabitants, the archipelago has a statute which reconciles administration and traditional powers: it recognizes the existence of three “
”, one in Wallis and two in Futuna, as well as '' a personal civil status, derogatory to common law, faithful to ancestral rules in terms of marriage, mourning or custody of children.
Emmanuel Macron said he was "
aware of the concerns
" of the many inhabitants with family in New Caledonia, around 1900 km away, "
who could be separated if the yes for independence were to win
" in the planned referendum December 12. "
After 60 years of common road, Wallis and Futuna will not be separated from France
" and "
the State will stand, whatever happens, by your side
", he assured. The Head of State also highlighted public investments to improve submarine cable links, and in the Futuna hospital and a new high school. Recalling "
the massive and rapid support
"Brought since the start of the health crisis, he called on islanders to be vaccinated against Covid while the territory became again free from Covid-19 in mid-July and its borders are protected by a sanitary lock.