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French riot police arrive in Martinique to curb unrest
13 February 2009 - French riot police landed in the Caribbean territory of Martinique on Thursday to keep the peace as unrest over the high cost of living escalated and a strike kept shops and some schools shuttered. The turmoil has led about 10,000 tourists to cancel vacations in Martinique and Guadeloupe, another French Caribbean territory hit by a strike. The deployment of 130 French riot police aims to 'ensure that order is maintained.' The French islands have a high cost of living and use the euro. Many islanders' feel their salaries are not keeping up with rising prices for food and other goods. The organization behind the strike that has paralyzed Guadeloupe for more than three weeks suspended negotiations on Thursday with mediators appointed by the French government, an official from the island's Regional Council said. (more)

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