Paris issued calls for calm after the death of Jacques Bino, a union activist, who was caught in crossfire while driving a car near a roadblock manned by armed youths who had opened fire at police with buckshot in the capital Pointe-a-Pitre.Demonstrators are now demanding an end to domination of the economy by "Bekes," the local name for white families that trace their roots to the colonial landlords and sugar plantation slave owners of the 17th and 18th centuries.
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As the strike started, one prominent member of a Beke family, Alain Huyghues-Despointes fuelled public anger by criticising mixed-race marriages and stating a personal preference to "preserve his race." Paris said it was prepared to reinforce local security forces as the monthlong labour dispute over low wages and white control of the economy became increasingly violent.
Socialist opposition leader, Malikh Boutih, said it was "shocking" to watch a police force "almost 100 per cent white, confront a black population" and drew a parallel with suburban riots on the French mainland in 2005.
Guadeloupe is a butterfly-shaped island of the French West Indies where, allegedly, the population doesn't smile enough. But this nevertheless poses a problem for Europeans vis-à-vis Caribbean islands.
The allegation is common currency among metropolitan French, who constitute the vast majority of visitors. We like to think that the locals are perfectly fulfilled by singing, cooking and serving us drinks by the pool (smiling all the while).
Racial strains have been aggravated by the strong position of traditional land owning families that possess as much as 90 per cent of its estimated wealth.
Landowners also control the island's shops and food distribution networks, which are popularly believed to overcharge for imported goods, a situation that undercuts the value of state subsidies to the island.
The total area is 660 square miles (1,705 square kilometers).
Grande-Terre, essentially limestone, consists of plateaus, plains, and hills ( mornes ).
Protests originated with demands by the Collective Against Exploitation (LKP), a coalition of unions and leftists for a monthly 200 euro (£177) pay increase for low-wage earners.
With wage negotiations looming with French unions, Paris has resisted the demands Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, recalled overseas officials to a meeting in Paris today after Michelle Alliot-Marie, the Interior Minister, declared the security situation was in a downward spiral.
There’s no need to get a referral from your primary care physician, and no worrying over finding a doctor “in-network.” France isn’t as uptight about boobs.