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Times have changed since the 17th and 18th centuries, when the economy flourished thanks to sugar and rum. We know today that it was a pseudo-bloom, because the boom was based on a few monocultures and prevented the development of efficient socio-economic structures. Sugar (from sugar beet) is now being imported and rum is increasingly encountering sales difficulties. Nowadays almost all sugar factories are closed, and the economy lives partly on support money from Paris or Brussels and the “Azent b´Aguette”. History’s irony: extremely high unemployment, low production capacities due to a lack of industrialisation, a crushing import surplus and structural distortions serve Paris today as a fine argument for maintaining quasicolonial dependency. The actual perpetrator of the misery may act as a benefactor, yes, he would find it downright immoral to leave Martinique and Guadeloupe to their fate in the current situation. The independence movements may take comfort in the fact that formal political independence is far from self-determination.

After all, government aid is being used to try to halt the decline in agricultural production and open up new markets for rum. Most customers, however, find bananas and pineapples (canned). Not to forget the exotic flowers that tourists like to take home from their holidays … Of course only if they are not under species protection! The sales of French “colonial bananas” at the expense of our familiar Latin American fruits with the zipper experienced as is well known powerful upswing by EU regulations and brought us a third higher prices. A nice way to finance your colonies, into which you only have to butter for decades, through others. On the other hand: what sense is it to make that bananas and other exotic fruits should be cultivated and brought to Europe with enormous effort, using pesticides, fungicides and insecticides, which have long been banned in this country, while plums, apples etc. wither or are destroyed here because of the low prices on the tree, is another question. The obligatory stupid kiwi slice on the ice here has been annoying us for a long time.

Potentially richer and more colonial than Guadeloupe, Martinique is still today controlled by the descendants of the Békés, who achieve high sales in the import-export business. Who could blame them for not being interested in a stronger self-sufficiency of their island with food and industrial goods? Nor should it bother them that agriculture and industry together account for only 16% of gross domestic product, with the waterhead-like service sector accounting for as much as 84%! For comparison, the shares of the economic sectors in Germany/France are as follows: agriculture good one and 6%, industry 38% and 32% respectively, and services 61% and 59%.

About Martinique

Martinique is an island in the Caribbean and belongs to the Lesser Antilles – more precisely to the islands under the wind. It is a French overseas department and a French overseas region. In 1502, Columbus was the first European to discover Martinique on his fourth journey. The island was colonised by France in 1635 and has remained in French possession ever since, except for three short periods of foreign occupation.

The climate is tropical and the rainy season lasts from June to October. The north is humid with lush vegetation. The climate is drier in the south, where most tourist destinations are located.

Average air temperatures in January and February are between 21°C and 27°C, in August and September between 24°C and 30°C. The months June to November are characterized by high humidity. February has an average of 12 rainy days, July 22 22.

The water temperature can exceed 28 °C in July to October and is no lower than 26 °C in February. Cyclones can occur between June and November.


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