19 Nov 2020

New Caledonia loyalists decry rivals' stance on Vale sale

9:05 pm on 19 November 2020

New Caledonia's anti-independence coalition has denounced the rival camp's decision to pull out of talks with France about the territory's institutional future.

Six anti-independence parties join forces for referendum

Six anti-independence parties join forces for referendum Photo: supplied FB

The pro-independence Caledonian Union said it would stay away until Paris took concrete steps towards New Caledonia's decolonisation as a dispute over the sale of the Vale nickel plant worsens.

The pro-French Loyalists say the stance by the Caledonian Union goes against the undertaking to have a dialogue as agreed during last month's visit of the French overseas minister Sebastien Lecornu.

They say a dialogue won't succeed if there are pre-conditions concerning the mining sector.

The Loyalists say if discussions fail, there will be another binary referendum on independence from France and once again New Caledonians will confirm their attachment to France.

The president of the Caledonian Union Daniel Goa said the minister didn't take on board the Kanaks' proposals about the Vale sale and fell into the old habit of considering the Kanaks' word as a negligible quantity.

He said Lecornu failed to understand that the Kanaks would yield nothing in the Vale issue, insisting the plant become New Caledonian to the benefit of all residents.

Vale is in sales negotiations with a new consortium, Prony Resources, which Goa described as a deadly proposal allied to interests within the provincial and territorial governments and the colonial French state.

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