January 25, 2022

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A referendum has begun on the Paradise Islands in the Pacific Ocean. New Caledonia votes for independence from France | world News

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located around 1400 kilometers Eastern Australia, New Caledonia, has a population of 270 thousand. The people are the French overseas territories. For several years, there have been attempts at independence – the current referendum is the third referendum on this matter since 2018. In the first, 43.6% supported full sovereignty from France. The number of voters was 46.7 percent per second in 2020.

New Caledonia votes for independence

According to reports, support for independence was supposed to increase until the situation stumbled due to the pandemic of the coronavirus, which arrived here recently, because in wrze¶niu this year. For this reason, the pro-independence party FLNKS (French: FLNKS) called on indigenous peoples to ignore the referendum. In her opinion, Epidemic It prevented the implementation of a proper campaign. By November, 271 patients had died of COVID-19 and the local Senate had ordered one year of traditional mourning. France’s presidential campaign is also to speak out against the vote.

Only those who settled in New Caledonia before 1994 can participate in the referendum. It is more than 180,000 people. But the French media expect a weak turnout and a certain victory for supporters of belonging to France.

tense atmosphere

Voting takes place in a tense atmosphere. The order on the islands of the archipelago is guarded by more than two thousand police and soldiers. The local authorities are concerned protests from the Kanak party.

The referendum is important to France for several reasons. First, Chinese influence is growing in the region, which tests the geopolitical ambitions of Paris. The French want to strengthen their presence in the Indo-Pacific, which may be especially important then He lost the contract to supply submarines to Australia.

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New Caledonia trafi³a Under French rule in 1853. For decades it was used as a penal colony. After World War II, it became an overseas territory of France.

Carrots are one of the world’s largest producers of nickel – a necessary raw material for new technologies. An agreement was signed in March of this year under which Tesla will buy nickel from the Caledonia mine. New Caledonia also has rich deposits of cobalt.