A document written by the French State services mentions the practical consequences of the accession of New Caledonia accession to independence. A delegation of New Caledonian elected representatives from all parties discussed it in Paris with the Prime Minister’s office. Here is a summary.
650,000 francs per year per inhabitant
The financial transfers from the State in 2020 represent a sum of 8679 Australian dollars per year per inhabitant of New Caledonia (8,500 AUD).
9,500 employees paid by the State
9,500 employees are paid by the State and State agencies. 913.4 million per annum (AUD 1.4 billion). As a reinder, New Caledonia has a population of 275,000.
The airport belongs to the State
In the event of an independence, the ownership of Tontouta international airport will be transferred to the new state. New Caledonia will thus be responsible for the operation of the airport.
2.8 billion for the television
The state-owned public television NC la 1ère currently has 150 employees and an annual budget of approximately 38 million australian dollars. The French State also manages the frequencies that allow the broadcasting of the different television channels.
Return to Wallis-and-Futuna
In the event of an independence, many Wallisians and Futunians people could leave New Caledonia to return to Wallis-and-Futuna. Given the size of the territory, even a few hundred people would be likely to upset the current capacity balances (land, health, employment, education, etc.).
More than 1,000 police and gendarmes
At the end of 2020, 595 police officers and administrative agents from the territorial directorate of the National Police were working in Nouméa within the central police station and 4 police offices. They also ensure cross-border control at the two international entry points. 509 soldiers of the Gendarmerie Nationale are also spread over the territory in 30 brigades. They are reinforced by 339 mobile gendarmes. In the event of an independence and at the end of the transition period, the security forces will leave the territory of the new state.
2,772 State buildings
The French State owns 2,772 buildings in New Caledonia, the value of which is estimated at AUD 1.1 billion.
A society to be built
The 44-page document has caused quite a stir in Caledonia, as it seems to say without really saying it that Caledonia cannot live without the financial contribution of the French state. It is a technical document. It lacks the essential: how to build a common society? The elected representatives returning to Caledonia after a week of discussions will have to complete the text and provide solutions.
Why does France want to stay in New Caledonia?
The document tells us that New Caledonia would be less beautiful without France. It explains that an independent New Caledonia would not be able to pay its bills. During his visit to New Caledonia, the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron had said a sentence that had marked the country: “Would France be less beautiful without New Caledonia? “We then expected the State to explain why it wanted to keep New Caledonia. Is it for geopolitical reasons, is it for economic reasons? The document says nothing on the subject. Officially, France is a kind of neutral arbitrator between the independentists and the non-independents.