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(en) France, Alternative libertaeir December - Mayotte a social powder keg (fr) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 19 Dec 2011 09:38:16 +0200


Since September 27, Mayotte, the fourth island of the Comoros archipelago, is shaken by an unprecedented social movement both in its duration and its intensity and determination. Here are some keys to understanding the situation Mahoran, social powder keg ... ---- Faced with the social movement that shook Mayotte, which lasts for more than 45 days and will leave deep scars in the landscape Mahorais, one may ask: how did we get here? Were there warning signs of this historic challenge in this island still under French colonial rule? ---- Award 50% higher --- On September 27 a number of organizations including trade unions are calling for general strike to fight against the "cost of living." A movement that is reminiscent of those that have shaken the Caribbean and other Dom in 2009. But this fight is going to also echo a movement born in December 2009 on the island, already against the rising cost of living and which had led to severe repression, leaving an indelible mark on the population.

This challenge of 2011 is based on a desire to bring down prices of over 300 products known staples including meat, rice or sardines. Finally a list of ten and eleven products will claim to be worn as a social movement. A movement that soon will experience a great success.

Indeed, on this island in the Indian Ocean, the prices of food and other products in general are exorbitant. Prices are on average 50% higher than those prevailing in the metropolis including basic foodstuffs. A price spike that could be explained in several ways.

The development of the island decided by France from the mid-1990s will be accompanied by a drastic policy of closed borders. The most dramatic aspect is undoubtedly the border closure to men ...

But this policy of closure will also affect the economy with a shift towards the world market and capitalist globalization. Mayotte and will gradually leave the channels of commerce local "traditional" to enter fully into globalization and the consumer society, causing deep societal changes and food.

So far Mayotte traded with their neighbors first and foremost the Comoros and Madagascar. Mayotte then imported meat, chicken or vegetables, in addition to agriculture and food types to fishing locally. In the mid-1990s, the development policy of the island decided by France will facilitate the rapid installation of three major distribution companies: BDM (Bourbon Distribution Mayotte), and Sodifram Somaco. These three distributors will gradually share the market in full expansion of Mayotte. But instead of installing competition, these distributors will agree on prices and thus margins to practice on the island.

The protagonists and the shareholders of these distributors are not anonymous to Mayotte, and found in the shareholders Sodifram number of former followers of the French mercenary coups in the Comoros and in particular trying to recycle their loot disaster. The current president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Mayotte, of African origin, has successfully established itself in the distribution Mahoran and profoundly change the eating habits by introducing eg chicken wings (in fact parts of the less noble and less expensive, thus ensuring large profits) which will become the first days of the social movement an emblem.

Meat produced 9000 km

These large retailers, taking advantage of the close of trade with Comoros and Madagascar, closing motivated by health reasons obscure - certainly more of a political and economic - will hang Mayotte global market. The willingness of a development of Mayotte and will transform a largely subsistence economy, based on basic needs in an economy geared to 90% by imports. The food business will decline sharply and often become the preserve of the population of 'foreign' origin mostly undocumented. Mayotte between the ground floor in the consumer society. The meat consumed in Mayotte will now be imported from Europe and Latin America for the majority (including Brazil).

This openness to globalization taking place contrary to the logic of capitalism is the phenomenal increase in food prices, the official argument being the distance of Mayotte with the countries of origin of imports. Thus, even though the distance is becoming argument of declining prices in the West, transportation is a variable price adjustment down, Mayotte would experience the opposite? Strange reason when you are directly responsible for these economic choices.

Remember before the meat was imported from Madagascar only 300 km distant, with a lower production cost than that of Brazil, distant by more then 9000 km. This economic policy dupes will allow supermarkets based in Mayotte to ensure large margins and profitability have a copy.

Yes but now, migration of the population Mahoran at the meeting or city will eventually update these inconsistencies and the economic exploitation clumsily disguised diaspora Mahoran increasingly alarmed by this situation of inequality with other Dom and with the metropolis.

An explosive social situation

The small number of assets and income inequality are also vectors of Mahorais malaise. Indeed the island accounts for just over 36 000 active population greater than 200,000 residents and nearly half of these assets would be undocumented. Unemployment reached record levels by close to 40% of the workforce. The minimum wage is only Mahorais in 2011 that 80% of the French minimum wage. Unemployment insurance and other forms of welfare are absent from the island. The RSA should theoretically be implemented from March 2012 is expected to account for 25% of RSA French is less than 100 euros per month ...

These glaring inequalities are exacerbated by wage inequality related to the origins of Workers. Parallel to the economic development of the island, the population Mahoran will gradually move away from work called "painful" to people leaving the "foreign". The Mahorais and turn en masse to the jobs of the local civil service developing in connection with the establishment of the Department in Mayotte and decentralization movements started from the year 2000.

The General Council has well over 3000 local civil servants! Although these new higher paying jobs will grow, they will fail to catch the surge in prices faced by the island, nor the huge salaries of Metropolitan came to work in Mayotte.

Some of these "expatriates" are sometimes called bounty hunters. The salaries of these settlers are well-metropolitan wages well above the local average increased by 25% to 100%, which should be added a plethora of financial benefits and privileges and in-kind rain on immigration applicants to this colony [ 1 ].

Although these inequalities can be discriminatory in nature, as related to jobs often reserved for metropolitan, it is important to remember that economic development policies have also led to the rapid enrichment of a local bourgeoisie, which has equally comfortable income see higher than metropolitan expatriates.

The movement as a vehicle for solidarity

We see, therefore, the social and economic inequalities in Mayotte have undoubtedly contributed to this social explosion that lasts for more than 45 days to the day when we complete and who to date has not yet completed. This struggle, the largest in history Mahoran, highlights a number of ailments of the colonized society, and relations with the colonial power biased. It is also an important learning for the company Mahoran the organization of the struggle.

It is also the first real challenge Mahoran against the colonial power and an important work of building solidarity between people and the inhabitants of the island. Solidarity that the racist policies had unsuccessfully tried to destroy. Hopefully these seeds planted by the social movement can germinate and give rise to an emancipated society, self-determined and finally mistress of her destiny ...

Tibo, Mayotte

[ 1 ] For example, a professor came to this city that affected last an average salary of 2500 euros, Mayotte benefit of a premium of 24 000 euros for one year and other incentives to address the cost of living.

So he will receive an average monthly salary in Mayotte of 5000 euros if we count all of these premiums should be added that the premiums for the move, the order of 6000 euros, and other benefits such as tickets for the employee and his family to come, or a ticket - for the whole family back a year ...
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