As the country prepares for a referendum on 4 November, the scars of colonisation are still raw.
Political agreement, which could pave the way for independence, came after New Caledonian leaders held talks with French ministers in Paris.
Conservative and far-right presidential candidates sharply criticised the socialist government for allowing Turkey's foreign minister to attend a meeting in France to rally support for proposed changes to his country's constitution which will strengthen the powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The far-right National Front party leader, Marine Le Pen, made pledge to give French people the chance to vote on EU membership.
In February prime minister Manuel Valls promised that work would begin on a controversial new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes near Nantes in western France by the autumn. Yet despite a much-criticised local referendum that backed the plan, there are no immediate signs that construction work is about to begin, or even that the protesters who currently occupy the site face imminent eviction. The latest hold-up has been caused by demands from Brussels for information on the wider environmental impact of the project, which could see the start of work delayed until next year. Aurélie Delmas reports.
Asked about impact of EU exit by UK on border controls in Calais, president said: 'I don't want to scare you .. but there will be consequences.'
Protesters want Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport plan to be withdrawn and expulsion orders given to local families and farmers to be scrapped.
Demonstrations took place in Paris, Marseille, Montpellier and other large cities as French finance minister Michel Sapin called for new talks.
French president François Hollande calls for Greek deal now while Germans say there can be no agreement before Sunday's referendum.
François Hollande made a last-minute appeal to the Greek government to return to the discussions and negotiate an agreement.
FN's Florian Philippot says French President François Hollande should 'follow the British example' and hold a vote on EU membership.
As David Cameron embarks on charm offensive with European leaders, French foreign minister describes EU referendum pledge as 'risky'.
Deal between Paris and Berlin on tighter political union seen as blow to British premier David Cameron's own hopes for treaty changes.
Mayotte, which lies in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and the East African coast, only became a full-fledged French département (or county) in 2011. The new status means it is now governed by the rules and practices of metropolitan France, including the compulsory and exclusive use of French in schools in a two-island nation where all local people speak regional languages as their mother tongue. Mayotte is also having to endure the uneasy transition from custom and tradition-based law to French common law. Meanwhile the high pay of civil servants posted from France is blamed for the rising cost of living in a society that is blighted by poverty, and where “condescending” expatriates and the middle classes live in protected areas removed from the grim reality of life for most ordinary people. “Some Whites rule here like in colonial times,” says one state employee. Olivia Müller reports on Mayotte's struggle to reconcile its very real needs with its new status as an integral part of France.