Covid Curbs, Vaccine Mandates Spark Unrest in French Caribbean
(Bloomberg) -- Week-long protests on the French-Caribbean island of Guadeloupe spilled over into nearby Martinique this week, as residents rebel against Covid-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates for healthcare workers.
The unrest comes as the two French jurisdictions have seen their tourism-based economies throttled by the pandemic and where distrust of politicians in Paris runs high, as does the unemployment rate.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex held a video conference with Guadeloupe officials late Monday to discuss ways to end the crisis, his office said in an e-mailed statement. That meeting was supposed to happen in person but was held online after Castex tested positive for Covid-19.
The French government has sent troops to quell the unrest in Guadeloupe, where more than 90 people have been arrested amid riots and looting, Agence France-Presse reported. The agency also said police and firefighters in Martinique had been targeted by gunfire.
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