Four months after its announcement of the launch of a study on the territorial continuity between France and the overseas territories, the Senate delegation to the overseas territories presented its work. The report concludes that a “significant budgetary effort” and an “systemic overhaul” assistance for territorial continuity become necessary.
A critical observation that stems from the reality of the devices that Catherine Conconne, socialist senator from Martinique, and Guillaume Chevrollier, senator Les Républicains from Mayenne, have dissected.
A very telling comparison has been displayed to show the abysmal gap in treatment between the continuity aid enjoyed by Corsica compared to other overseas territories. Admittedly, the comparison has been known and used with a vengeance by politicians for many years, but the two senators have the merit of having updated and certified without possible dispute the very significant difference in treatment between the aid granted to the Corsica, however, closer to the mainland and the overseas departments and communities (DOM-COM).
“On average, aid for territorial continuity amounts to 257 euros per year and per inhabitant in Corsica against 16 euros for overseas territories”, compares Catherine Conconne. This gap maintains “the feeling of our overseas citizens of not being sufficiently taken into account”, continues his colleague and co-rapporteur of the report Guillaume Chevrollier. Faced with the case of Corsica, which has already benefited from specific provisions since 1976, the overseas territories are struggling to assert the application of equivalent or even more favorable treatment in the eyes of successive governments.
“The status quo is not tenable as it is”
The two senators offer equally disconcerting points of comparison on the support policy carried out by other European countries such as Spain. This country spends on average per inhabitant overseas each year 223 euros. Above all, Spain has chosen to bear a percentage of the prices of plane tickets.
In France, the aid granted is characterized by a voucher capped at 475 euros and regardless of the seasonality of the plane ticket. Rates that can jump 25% during the July-August period in particular.
In addition, the device benefits people whose family quotient is less than 11,991 euros, which means that it “caters only to extremely poor people”regrets Catherine Conconne.
“The status quo is not tenable as it is”, considers in turn Guillaume Chevrollier. The two senators also mark the spirits by talking about “territorial discontinuity” when presenting their work.
Their report does not content itself with establishing an inventory but recommends several avenues for improvement such as that of establishing a resident tariff in order to take into account the seasonality and volatility of prices or even the payment of a one-way ticket – additional return per year for students.