Collectivity of Saint Martin
|Collectivity of Saint Martin
Collectivité de Saint-Martin (French)
Location of the Collectivity of St Martin in the Leeward Islands.
and largest city
|Ethnic groups ()|
• President of the
|Overseas collectivity of France|
• Divided between France and Netherlands
|23 March 1648|
• Separate collectivity
|15 July 2007|
|53.2 km2 (20.5 sq mi) (unranked)|
• Water (%)
• Jan. 2011 census
|682/km2 (1,766.4/sq mi) (unranked)|
|Currency||Euro (€) (EUR)|
|ISO 3166 code||MF|
Saint Martin (French: Saint-Martin), officially the Collectivity of Saint Martin (Collectivité de Saint-Martin) is an overseas collectivity of France in the Caribbean. With a population of 36,286 (as of Jan. 2011) on an area of 53.2 square kilometres (20.5 sq mi), it encompasses the northern 60% of the divided island of Saint Martin, and some neighbouring islets, the largest of which is Île Tintamarre. The southern 40% of the island of Saint Martin constitutes Sint Maarten, since 2010 a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Before 2007, the French part of Saint Martin formed a part of the French overseas région and département of Guadeloupe. Saint Martin is separated from the island of Anguilla by the Anguilla Channel. Its capital is Marigot.
Hurricane Irma hit the island on 6 and 7 September 2017 with Category 5 winds which caused widespread and significant damage to buildings and infrastructure.   As of 10 September, reports indicated that ten deaths were attributed to the storm on this island and on Saint Barthelemy (combined) and that seven people were still missing.
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. 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 (separately) the neighbouring Saint Barthélemy. The new status took effect on 15 July 2007, once the local assemblies were elected, with the second leg of the vote ultimately occurring on 15 July 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. Gumbs was reelected on 5 May 2009.
|Parties||1st round||2nd round||Seats|
|Union for Progress/UMP (Union pour le Progrès, Louis Constant-Fleming)||2,829||40.35||3,753||48.96||16|
|Rally Responsibility Success (Rassemblement responsabilité réussite, Alain Richardson)||2,237||31.90||3,231||42.15||6|
|Succeed Saint Martin (Réussir Saint-Martin, Jean-Luc Hamlet)||767||10.94||681||8.89||1|
|Alliance (Alliance, Dominique Riboud)||635||9.05||—||—||—|
|Democratic Alliance for Saint Martin (Alliance démocratique pour Saint-Martin, Wendel Cocks)||544||7.76||—||—||—|
|Source: RFO1, RFO2|
Coat of arms
The coat of arms of the French overseas collectivity Saint-Martin features a ship, a palm and a sun, and reads "Collectivité de Saint Martin". The commune that existed until 22 February 2007, used similar arms but with the legend "Ville de Saint Martin".
The French part of the island has a land area of 53.2 square kilometres (20.5 sq mi). A local English-based dialect is spoken in informal situations on both the French and Dutch sides of the island. At the January 2011 French census, the population in the French part of the island was 36,286 (up from only 8,072 inhabitants at the 1982 census), which means a population density of 682 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,770/sq mi) in 2011.
During the 1980s, the population more than tripled; at the time, the collectivity was administered as a part of Guadeloupe.
|Official figures from French censuses.|
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.
The collectivity has seven public preschools (maternelles) and seven public elementary schools:
- Preschools: Emile Choisy, Nina Duverly, Eli Gibs, Quartier d'Orléans 1, Sandy Ground, Hervé Williams 1, Hervé Williams 2
- Elementary schools: Grand Case, Eveline Halley, Morne O'Reilly, Quartier d'Orléans 1, Quartier d'Orléans 2, Sandy Ground, Simeone Trott
There are three junior high schools (collège) and one senior high school:
- Junior highs: #1 Des Accords, #2 Soualiaga, #3 Quartier d'Orleans
- Lycée des Îles Nord (senior high/sixth-form)
Hurricane Irma hit Saint Martin on 6 and 7 September, 2017. France's Minister of the Interior said on 8 September that most of the schools were destroyed. In addition to damage caused by high winds, there were reports of serious flood damage to businesses in the village of Marigot. Looting was also a serious problem. France sent aid as well as additional police and and emergency personnel to the island. 95% of the structures on the French side had been damaged or destroyed.   Looting or "pillaging" was a problem initially; France was sending 240 gendarmes to help control the situation.
On 10 September, France announced that it was sending additional emergency supplies, including water and electrical equipment to help restore the power supply, to St. Martin, as an early step to helping the residents to survive and later, to rebuild. By 11 September, President Emmanuel Macron was flying to the area to view the damage and to assure residents of support for relief efforts. At that time, only tourists and visitors from France (mainlanders) had been evacuated from St. Martin, leading to complaints by black and mixed-race residents that whites were being given priority. Macron arrived on 12 September with emergency supplies and said that by the weekend "many things will be reopened". He pledged 50 million euros of aid for the French islands and said the rebuilding will be done quickly but very well.
- "The World Factbook". cia.gov.
- INSEE, Government of France. "Populations légales 2011 pour les départements et les collectivités d'outre-mer" (in French). Retrieved 2014-01-26.
- Staff reporter (9 December 2003). "French Caribbean voters reject change". Caribbean Net News. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. 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".
- Staff reporter (9 February 2007). "Saint-Barth To Become An Overseas Collectivity" (PDF). St. Barth Weekly. p. 2. Retrieved 9 February 2007.
- NewMedia. "Les élections du futur conseil territorial font débat - Politique - Ixprim News - NewMedia - Newmedia". newmedia-fr.info.
- See J. P. Thiellay, Droit des outre-mers, Paris:Dalloz, 2007.
- "Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Article 355". Official Journal of the European Union. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- Staff reporter (28 July 2008). "Louis-Constant Fleming démissionné par le conseil d’Etat" (in French). fxgpariscaraibe. Retrieved 17 August 2008.
- Staff reporter (8 August 2008). "Frantz Gumbs elected new president of Collectivité". The Daily Herald. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. 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.
- "The Daily Herald - New Domain Redirect". thedailyherald.com. Archived from the original on 19 April 2009.
- "May 2009". rulers.org.
- ISO 3166-1 Newsletter. Assignment of code elements for Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin and update of France and other French Territories
- "Yahoo! Groups". yahoo.com.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 May 2002. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
- Holm (1989) Pidgins and Creoles, vol. 2
- INSEE, CEROM. "Estimation du PIB de Saint-Barthélemy et de Saint-Martin" (PDF) (in French). Retrieved 13 November 2007.
- Total 2004 GDP of Sint Maarten ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 November 2007. Retrieved 14 November 2007.) divided by the number of inhabitants in 2004 ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-10-14.), then converted from Netherlands Antillean gulden to euro by using the 2004 exchange rate.
- "Maternelle et Elémentaire." Collectivity of Saint Martin. Retrieved on September 13, 2016.
- "Collèges et lycée public ." Collectivity of Saint Martin. Retrieved on September 13, 2016.
- Dutch officials: Irma damaged or destroyed 70 percent of St. Maarten homes, leaving island vulnerable to Jose’s approach. Washington Post September 9, 2017.  Accessed September 9, 2017
- Hurricane Irma destroys ‘95%’ of French part of St. Martin—official, Agence France-Presse September 7, 2017.  Accessed September 9, 2017
- (in French) Official website of the Collectivity of Saint Martin
- Official website of the Tourist Office of Saint Martin
- Wikimedia Atlas of Saint Martin (France)
- Collectivity of Saint Martin travel guide from Wikivoyage
- "Saint Martin". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.