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Caribbean-On-Line / St. Barts / Local Stuff / News / St Barth to Elect First President

St Barth to Elect First President

On July 1, 2007, St Barth will elect the first president and Territorial Council of the Overseas Collectivity of Saint Barthélémy, which is part of the French Republic. Bruno Magras, mayor of St Barth for the past 12 years, recently announced his candidacy for this position on Radio Saint Barth. The new president and the Territorial Council will govern St Barth for the next five years. The Mayor wrote a formal letter to the population, stating the following main points of his platform.

First, he summarized the current state of affairs:

• A population of 8,200, with more than 12,000 in high season

• A building boom with more than 250 permits requested and approximately 120 allowed (I assume this is per year...)

• Unrestrained speculation due to large influx of foreign investment

• Property priced beyond the means of young people

• A saturated industrial zone faced with growing needs

• Traffic congestion because of an increasing number of cars being brought onto the island

• Overloaded public equipment and services

The Mayor went on to present five fundamental actions necessary to maintain the reputation and quality of life of St Barth.

• Protect the environment

• Control development

• Guarantee safety for persons and property

• Provide professional training for young people

• Create stable employment with adequate salaries

On the subject of taxes, Mr. Magras somewhat joked that the primary role of the new government was not to invent all kinds of new taxes. While not specifically addressing the future of taxation, he did say, "The truth is that the fiscal pressure will also be in response to the quality of public services required by the population and the ability of the government to control unnecessary expenditures."

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