He has proposed major investment by the State. He also wants a “path of forgiveness”.Emmanuel Macron loves crowds. He proved it again in Nouméa on 25 July. He gave a speech lasting over an hour in the centre of the capital in front of more than 8,000 people. Here is a brief summary.
New Caledonia is French
New Caledonia is French because it has chosen to remain French. The three referendums in 2018, 2020 and 2021 said no to independence.
Hurt by the absence of the Union Calédonienne
The President said. He was hurt by the boycott of the pro-independence members of the Union calédonienne, who refused to meet him. He declared: “To take refuge in silence, isolation and separatism is to choose violence.
Thawing of the electorate
The President announced that the electorate would be opened up. The aim is to allow French citizens living in mainland France to vote in local elections after a certain number of years. This is a major bone of contention between independentists and non-independents.
The road to forgiveness
Emmanuel Macron is not asking for forgiveness for the colonisation of Caledonia. He is asking all Caledonians to take the path of forgiveness. “I hope that this path of forgiveness,” declares the Head of State, “will embrace a broader initiative that deals with modern and contemporary history.”
He did not give any details, but he is proposing that New Caledonia should have new institutions that take greater account of economic, social and agricultural development.
The three metallurgical plants are not profitable. Emmanuel Macron has promised that the State will finance the energy transition. This will help to reduce the plants’ energy bills. The aim is to make them competitive with Indonesia, in particular.
Emmanuel Macron announced A$220 million in direct investment and more than 200 additional military personnel. “We are going to build a Pacific academy right here to train soldiers from all over the region. Yes, France is an Indo-Pacific power. Yes, New Caledonia is a powerful partner for all its neighbours in the region.
The Nouméa Accord
I want to seal a pact with you here today,” he declared, “a pact that must lead us out of the confrontation between one side and the other. A pact of respect and ambition. A pact of tradition and ambition. A pact of roots and universality. This pact is the one that gives you, and will give you, stability in the Republic and in France, stability for the future, strength for tomorrow, while respecting everyone