Monday, 30 March 2009

Republican Aspirations

Mayotte has voted to become a department of the French Fifth Republic (95.2% approval). With the level of integration required - Mayotte will have to largely give up its Islamic legal system for the secular republican one, as well as give up many local customs in order for there to be equal gender rights - it will be very interesting to see how well France can integrate them. France is, after all, not well known for social harmony at the best of times.

I suppose the promise of French government and EU funds played a part in the decision, but will there be enough to go around?

2 comments:

  1. If Mayotte becomes and integral part of France, it will extend the EU's territory as a consequence.

    Despite the near unanimous support for departmental status, the situation is complicated. Comoros - far from a model of governance - lays claim to Mayotte, and the African Union as well as the UN (Assembly?) support the territorial integrity of Comoros.

    The future is far from clear, given the external complications.

    Even if the standard of living is much higher in Mayotte than in Comoros, it is way below EU standards. As you indicate, local customs are in many respects incompatible with French and EU legislation.

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