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New Caledonia airport to remain closed until at least June 2

26/5/2024 18:20
        New Caledonia's international airport will remain closed until at least next Sunday, its operator said, nearly two weeks after rioting erupted on the French-ruled Pacific island over a contested electoral reform.
        
        Seven people have died in the riots, in which cars and businesses have been torched and shops looted.
        
        French President Emmanuel Macron, who visited the island on Thursday to try and ease tensions, has hit pause on the reform, but fallen short of pro-independence parties' demands that it be shelved altogether.
        
        Hitting pause was "a gesture of appeasement", Macron said in an interview published by Le Parisien newspaper. "But I will never make a decision to postpone or suspend under the pressure of violence,".
        
        If pro and anti-independence parties on the island fail to reach a broad deal on the island's future, Macron would either call a special congress of the two houses of parliament, as planned, to ratify the electoral reform. Or, he said, he could call a referendum.
        



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