Once again, Mayotte will have had its customary ministerial visit which will not change anything. While the poorest department in France is plagued by a social implosion that increases every year, the remedies proposed were the same: more means to reinforce security and equip the territory. Except that by attacking the symptoms rather than the deep-rooted evil (an overpopulation resulting in large part from illegal immigration), the two senior civil servants are only passing the hot potato to their successors before returning to their Parisian comfort. It’s been going on for twenty years! A context summarized by our colleague Denis Herrmann (who lives on the spot)… extracts.

In the meantime, what about the announcements? We have heard them over the years and the result is often deceiving because it is often necessary for the good people of Mahoran to revolt to make themselves heard. The ministers have reaffirmed that additional resources will be made available to fight illegal immigration, the DGF will be increased, and consideration is being given to the establishment of a police station in Koungou. This is good, but it will not change the quality of life of the Mahoran people because traffic jams will continue to suffocate the island on the only road that goes around it. The long runway has been flown over, which obviously hides something. The port of Longoni, the gas project? Yes, the ministers said, it’s good, but you have to ask what Total thinks about it. The port and its management ? See with the Departmental Council! The State should not interfere in this matter. However, Article 40s have been filed and until proven otherwise, when a high-ranking civil servant files one, it is still the State’s business somewhere… It is clear that Gérald Darmanin, as Minister of the Interior, could only talk about security, whereas the Minister of Overseas Territories could have covered a wider range. Not a word about school construction, which is sorely lacking even if efforts are being made. The land has been mentioned, because it is the excuse to ignore when it comes to talking about these topics. It is true that Sébastien Lecomu said that an ambitious project for the construction of very social housing would be activated. To house whom? To hear him tell it, the illegal immigrants, who will thus be given priority to cut the grass under the foot of the sleep merchants… This will please the Mahoran people who also live in precarious conditions and who would like to have decent housing.

Where did the money go?
To say that this visit resembled all other ministerial visits would be reductive. The two members of the government did the job by affirming their “will” to make Mayotte move forward more quickly. Good, but not satisfactory, so familiar is this refrain. Oh yes, the minimum social benefits and their alignment with Metropolitan France will be turbocharged. Instead of waiting until 2036, we will only have to wait another ten years until 2031. What luck! Apart from that, nothing new under the sun. The water cuts that are multiplying did not question these two ministers and especially the one of overseas who did not meet the bosses of the water union to take stock of the realities of what is happening in the store and ask the questions of why consumers who pay their water bills are arbitrarily cut off every day (and it’s only beginning)… Where is the money for sanitation, reservoirs and other works intended to avoid these cuts? This is a subject that would have been interesting to address, as well as that of justice, which was neither associated nor solicited for this visit, although it was concerned with the problems of insecurity. The Minister of Justice should come but we don’t know when. It is up to him to find a solution… This visit will have had the merit to exist like the previous ones, but to tell the truth something was wrong in this trip… We will probably discover it during the presidential campaign. The Mahoran people will still have to be patient… Photo (DR): Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior and Sebastien Lecornu, Minister of Outermost Regions.