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A 360° political immersion in Martinique

Hot Topic Learn more about French presidential election 2017

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Jean-Philippe Ludon – Radio Caraïbes International

“Hello, I am Jean-Philippe LUDON, journalist at Radio Caraïbes International.
We are here at the commune of Anses-d’Arlet, in Martinique to meet retiree, Michel Queuille.

Michel Queuille hails from Clermont-Ferrand, France. He spent his entire career in a bank in Auvergne.

When he retired some fifteen years ago, he came to live in Martinique with his wife.
Both of them are very involved in the associative life of the commune.
Even this far from mainland France, Michel follows national politics closely.
However, he admits that, for this election, he’s struggling to make up his mind.

Michel Queuille – Retiree and resident of Martinique

“I am disappointed by the people, by quality of the debate, which doesn’t get to the heart of things. I am disappointed by the excessive media coverage. I am disappointed … I never found myself in this position of saying: ‘Michel, you’re going to leave the ballot blanc.’ “

“I know it is a form of cowardice, to leave a blanc vote. We do not have the right to complain when we have voted this way. That means we did not take sides. We have no right to complain, to blame or to get incensed. No ! So the second round is the major issue. It is a matter of knowing who, in spite of everything, we choose.

Jean-Philippe

“Because you have to choose?”

Michel Queuille

“That’s exactly it, yes, you have to choose … Because then I’ll be saying to myself: ‘Here you are grumbling, but all you had to do was vote!’
So in the second round, I will decide. But in the first round, no. I’m not going to make a choice out of this political porridge… I wont decide.”

Jean-Philippe

Would you like to discuss overseas territories?

Michel Queuille

We can talk a lot about overseas territories, but the important thing is to know what’s going on behind the scenes. I don’t get the impression that once leaders are in power, they have much drive to make their campaign-promises more concrete. Overseas territories are far away. From time to time they come, and they renew these beautiful words!

Jean-Philippe

“On that point, are you aware of what is happening in Guyana now?”

Michel

“I think some things are just excessive! When I see the Guyanese presenting a 400-page book of demands, I think to myself: ‘We’re making a terrible mess!’ Where are the essentials in this? You can not satisfy everyone. It lacks political realism, obviously. “

Michel

“I think we have lost a sense of common interest, and I think that individualism has made a lot of progress.” The first thing we do when building a house is to construct barriers around it. Our place has no barrier, there are a lot of dogs that come sometimes, but we’re not walled in.”

“This individualism has made us lose the taste for … I do not want to talk about ‘sacrifice’, but about the need to have a common project, a plan for living together, which means making a certain number of sacrifices. I come across as a bit of a ‘veteran’ when I say that. That’s why I’m reluctant to talk about these topics, because some say ‘Ah well, there’s an old fool, always saying the same thing’ … you see?”

Jean-Philippe

So on the subject of individualism. Do you feel the same thing here in Martinique?

Michel

“It seems to me that as time passes, in Martinique, we are picking up the defects, the bad habits from the French mainlanders. And that, more and more, there is this withdrawal. And a bit like in France, individualism takes hold… But obviously, I could be wrong… “

Producer : Olivier Péguy, euronews
in association with Jean-Philippe Ludon, Radio Caraïbes International

Editor : Emma Belay

Euronews powered by Google News Lab.

*Musique
ATOMOS 288 5 “Journey in a landscape”*

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