Keyword: La Réunion

A discrimination too far: French overseas consumers pay double for postage

By

French citizens living overseas territories can pay between two and five times as much to send a parcel as their counterparts in metropolitan France. Now trade unions want to put an end to what they see as yet another “injustice” suffered by those who live in far-flung parts of France. Julien Sartre reports.

The mystery of French island shark attacks

By
Nine people have died from shark attacks on La Réunion since 2011. © Reuters Nine people have died from shark attacks on La Réunion since 2011. © Reuters

Over the past six years a spate of shark attacks have hit the French Indian Ocean island of La Réunion, leaving nine people dead and many others badly wounded. The problem, virtually unknown before 2011, has traumatised the local population, and in an effort to reduce the danger local authorities have introduced a programme of shark culling, which has outraged conservationists. In all, more than 10 million euros have been ploughed into measures including the erection of safety netting around beaches and the employment of divers to scout for predators close to resorts. But the attacks are continuing, and despite numerous scientific studies no-one knows why. Julien Sartre reports from La Réunion, where locals are anything but united on how to deal with the problem.

The jihadist network on the French island of La Réunion

By

For a long time French overseas territories have been spared armed jihadism and the phenomenon of young people heading off for the war zones of Syria and Iraq. But the recent trial in Paris of a young man from La Réunion in the Indian Ocean for a conspiracy to carry out a terrorist act has changed that. The conviction of Naïl Varatchia also challenges the widely-perceived idea that the Muslim community on the island is an example of tolerance. Julien Sartre reports.

How France's approach to its overseas territories is stuck in the past

By
French minister Ericka Bareigts said sorry to French Guiana - but will it herald change? © Eric Bosc French minister Ericka Bareigts said sorry to French Guiana - but will it herald change? © Eric Bosc

For decades there has been a string of legal and economic initiatives by France aimed at improving the lot of its overseas territories. Yet as the current crisis in French Guiana shows, these measures have failed to have a noticeable impact on the 2.7 million French people who live in those regions. Julien Sartre reports on how an outdated model of development applied to these territories still shows no signs of being updated.

The long path to reparations for lost children sent to repopulate rural France

By
Réunionese child deportees in France during the 1970s (location and exact date unknown). © Jean-Charles Pitou - 'Génération brisée' Réunionese child deportees in France during the 1970s (location and exact date unknown). © Jean-Charles Pitou - 'Génération brisée'

For several decades, it remained one of the most shameful secrets of post-war France: from 1963 to 1982, more than 2,000 children were  deported from the French-governed Indian Ocean island of La Réunion to mainland France in a government programme to repopulate deserted rural areas in the centre of the country. It was only in 2002 that the scandal first came to public attention, beginning a long campaign for justice. That finally resulted in an official commission of enquiry which this week presented its initial findings, when it formally recognised the displaced children’s suffering, including maltreatment and racism. But the victims, a number of whom are now in their 50s and 60s, are still waiting for proper reparation.

The 'monument of complexity' that was Réunion communist leader Paul Vergès

By

Paul Vergès, the strongman founder and leader of the Réunion island’s Communist Party, the doyen of the French senate and an anti-colonial firebrand who was a significant figure of the international communist movement, has died at the age of 91. Less known on mainland France than his late brother, the controversial lawyer and provocateur Jacques, Paul Vergès became regarded as an untouchable political figurehead on the French Indian Ocean island where he had successively occupied almost every political mandate during a 70-year career. Julien Sartre sketches the sometimes dark story of what historian Frédérick Genevée called “a monument of complexity” who was driven by anti-colonialism rather than social struggle.

 

Bitter legacy of a once-mighty French newspaper empire

By
One of the overseas titles once owned by the Hersant newspaper empire. One of the overseas titles once owned by the Hersant newspaper empire.

The Hersant newspaper group disintegrated a few years ago, following massive job losses, the closure of titles and insolvencies. However the demise of this once-powerful group which had owned close to 50% of the national and local French press, is still having an impact in French overseas territories where it also had a strong base. Julien Sartre reports on the lingering effects of the fall of a newspaper empire which had influence around the globe.

The 1.6bn-euro ocean road making waves on Réunion

By
Le tronçon "viaduc" de la future route du littoral, à 100 mètres du rivage réunionnais © Région Réunion Le tronçon "viaduc" de la future route du littoral, à 100 mètres du rivage réunionnais © Région Réunion

Plans to build a new road on viaducts and massive seawalls around the coast of the French Indian Ocean island of Réunion have caused a major controversy. The 1.6-billion-euro project faces a preliminary legal investigation for possible corruption and favouritism and is under fire for its impact on the environment, while financial watchdogs also warn the scheme risks facing a significant funding shortfall. Julien Sartre reports.

Air France crew spot more possible debris of lost Malaysian plane

The voluminous object was seen floating 70 kms from the French Indian Ocean island, where debris from vanished MH370 previously washed up.

France cuts down search off La Réunion for MH370 debris

The largely fruitless search of waters off Indian Ocean island began after a wing section apparently from lost plane was found there last month.

MH370: French planes search for debris off Réunion

Boats and helicopters are also being deployed off the Indian Ocean island to expand the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

French court upholds ban on new cockfighting arenas

Judges ruled that, though cockfighting is legal in some areas, it cannot be treated in same way as bullfighting which is allowed new arenas.

MH370: debris arrives in France as search for truth switches to laboratory

Aircraft wing part washed up on Réunion will be driven to Toulouse defence laboratory for confirmation it belonged to missing Boeing 777.

MH370 search: debris found on Réunion being sent to France

French air accident investigators in Toulouse will examine wreckage amid growing speculation it is from the missing Malaysian airliner.

'Aircraft debris' found on French island examined for MH370 links

Possible wing debris found on Indian Ocean island of La Réunion is being examined to see if it comes from doomed 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight.