Mayors Congress in Paris: Land and High Cost of Living at the Heart of the Discussions

The mayors congress opened this Monday in the Paris region. 126 Polynesian elected officials made the trip. The first day, specially dedicated to the overseas territories, addressed land and the high cost of living.

The 105th Congress of Mayors of France and Presidents of inter-municipalities began on Monday, November 20, at the Palais des Congrès in Issy-les-Moulineaux, on the outskirts of Paris.

Nearly a thousand mayors and elected officials from all the overseas territories came for this opening day specially dedicated to the overseas territories.

The morning started with opening remarks by David Lisnard, the president of the Association of Mayors of France.

French Polynesia came out in force: 126 elected officials, including 20 mayors, from all over the territory.

The program for the morning included debates on two central topics, the high cost of living and land. Two subjects that take on particular significance in the overseas territories. “Land is a permanent issue,” reminds Gaston Tong Sang, the mayor of Bora Bora. “Especially young couples’ access to land ownership to start building their homes.”

On the atolls, land-related issues take on other forms. “Today, you have land ending up in the sea and it also affects our water table,” explains Tahuhu Maraeura, mayor of Rangiroa. “In the Tuamotu, we rely heavily on the water from the water table.”

This day is also a unique opportunity for elected officials to meet, as Marcelin Lissant, the mayor of Punaauia, explains: “What is interesting here is to share each other’s experiences. And for us who know the same problems, land availability, but also the high cost of living and biodiversity issues.”

This day dedicated to the overseas territories continued at the Senate, where the elected officials were received by Gérard Larcher, before meeting on Tuesday with Yaël Braun-Pivet, the President of the National Assembly.

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