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Saint Martin (French: Saint-Martin), officially the Collectivity of Saint Martin (French: Collectivité de Saint-Martin) is an overseas collectivity of France located in the Caribbean. It came into being on 15 July 2007, encompassing the northern parts of the island of Saint Martin and neighbouring islets, the largest of which is Île Tintamarre. The southern part of the island, Sint Maarten, is part of the Netherlands Antilles which is part of the Netherlands.
Politics and government
Saint Martin was for many years a French commune forming part of Guadeloupe, which is an overseas région and département of France and is therefore in the European Union. In 2003 the population of the French part of the island voted in favour of secession from Guadeloupe in order to form a separate overseas collectivity (COM) of France. On 9 February 2007, the French Parliament passed a bill granting COM status to both the French part of Saint Martin and neighbouring Saint Barthélemy. The new status took effect once the local assembly was elected on 15 February 2007. Saint Martin remains part of the European Union.
The new governance structure befitting an overseas collectivity took effect on 15 July 2007 with the first session of the Territorial Council (French: Conseil territorial) and the election of Louis-Constant Fleming as president of the Territorial Council. On 25 July 2008 Fleming resigned after being sanctioned by the Conseil d'État for one year over problems with his 2007 election campaign. On 7 August, Frantz Gumbs was elected as President of the Territorial Council. However, his election was declared invalid on 10 April 2009 and Daniel Gibbs appointed as Acting President of the Territorial Council on 14 April 2009. However, Gumbs was reelected on 5 May 2009.
Before 2007, Saint Martin was coded as GP (Guadeloupe) in ISO 3166-1. In October 2007, it received the ISO 3166-1 code MF (alpha-2 code), MAF (alpha-3 code), and 663 (numeric code).
Summary of the 1 July and 8 July 2007 Saint Martin Territorial Council election results
|Union for Progress/UMP (Union pour le Progrès, Louis Constant-Fleming)
|Rally Responsibility Success (Rassemblement responsabilité réussite, Alain Richardson)
|Succeed Saint Martin (Réussir Saint-Martin, Jean-Luc Hamlet)
|Alliance (Alliance, Dominique Riboud)
|Democratic Alliance for Saint Martin (Alliance démocratique pour Saint-Martin, Wendel Cocks)
|Source: RFO1, RFO2
The French part of the island has a land area of 53.20 km² (20.5 sq mi). At the January 2007 French census, the population in the French part of the island was 35,925 (up from only 8,072 inhabitants at the 1982 census), which means a population density of 675 inhabitants per km² in 2007.
|Official figures from French censuses.
Flags flying in Marigot harbour, Saint-Martin.
The official currency of Saint Martin is the euro, though the US dollar is also widely accepted. Tourism is the main economic activity.
INSEE estimated that the total GDP of Saint Martin amounted to 421 million euros in 1999 (US$449 million at 1999 exchanges rates; US$599 million at Oct. 2007 exchange rates). In that same year the GDP per capita of Saint Martin was 14,500 euros (US$15,500 at 1999 exchanges rates; US$20,600 at Oct. 2007 exchange rates), which was 39% lower than the average GDP per capita of metropolitan France in 1999. In comparison, the GDP per capita on the Dutch side of the island, Sint Maarten, was 14,430 euros in 2004.
Map showing the former constituent parts of the Guadeloupe
region/department among the Leeward Islands
, including Saint-Martin, before February 2007.
Detailed map showing French Saint-Martin (north), including its territorial waters.
Map showing French Saint-Martin (north) and Dutch Sint Maarten (south).
- ^ World factbook Saint Martin
- ^ INSEE, Government of France. "Populations légales 2007 pour les départements et les collectivités d'outre-mer". http://www.insee.fr/fr/ppp/bases-de-donnees/recensement/populations-legales/france-departements.asp?annee=2007. Retrieved Jan. 30, 2009. (French)
- ^ The French law was passed in February 2007, but the new status came in force once the local assemblies elected, with second leg of the vote on 15th July 2007. See J. P. Thiellay, Droit des outre-mers, Paris:Dalloz, 2007.
- ^ "French Caribbean voters reject change" (in english) (HTML). Caribbean Net News. 9 December 2003. http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/2003/12/09/voters.htm. Retrieved 9 February 2007. "However voters on the two tiny French dependencies of Saint-Barthelemy and Saint-Martin, which have been administratively attached to Guadeloupe, approved the referendum and are set to acquire the new status of "overseas collectivity"."
- ^ "Saint-Barth To Become An Overseas Collectivity" (in english) (PDF). St. Barth Weekly. 9 February 2007. p. 2. http://www.st-barths.com/jsb/pdf_files/weekly107.pdf. Retrieved 9 February 2007.
- ^ Les élections du futur conseil territorial font débat - Politique - Nouvelles sur Newmedia.fr - New Media : Infos Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthelémy, Caraïbes - Infos Newmedia.fr
- ^ The Treaty of Lisbon states that Saint-Martin is a part of the EU. See: "Treaty of Lisbon, Article 349 and 355". http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2008:115:0047:0199:EN:PDF. Retrieved 18 March 2010. .
- ^ "Louis-Constant Fleming démissionné par le conseil d’Etat" (in french). fxgpariscaraibe. 28 July 2008. http://www.fxgpariscaraibe.com/article-21561959.html. Retrieved 17 August 2008.
- ^ "Frantz Gumbs elected new president of Collectivité". The Daily Herald. 8 August 2008. http://news.caribseek.com/Sint_Maarten/The_Daily_Herald/article_68029.shtml. Retrieved 17 August 2008. "Frantz Gumbs, formerly president of Union Pour le Progrès (UPP) party, swept into power as new president of the Collectivité at an extraordinary meeting of the Territorial Council on Thursday after winning the 23-councillor vote with a clear majority over Marthe Ogoundélé-Tessi."
- ^ http://www.thedailyherald.com/news/daily/l278/shamel278.html
- ^ http://rulers.org/2009-05.html
- ^ ISO 3166-1 Newsletter. Assignment of code elements for Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin and update of France and other French Territories
- ^ a b (French) INSEE, CEROM. "Estimation du PIB de Saint-Barthélemy et de Saint-Martin" (PDF). http://www.insee.fr/fr/insee_regions/guyane/publi/PIB_IDN.pdf. Retrieved 13 November 2007.
- ^ Total 2004 GDP of Sint Maarten () divided by the number of inhabitants in 2004 (), then converted from Netherlands Antillean gulden to euro by using the 2004 exchange rate.