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The overseas collectivity of Saint-Barthélémy, in the French West Indies, obtained on Friday in Brussels the European status of overseas country and territory (OCT), which it wished, announced in a statement the Overseas Minister Marie-Luce Penchard.Overseas collectivity since July 2007.


After its secondment from Guadeloupe, Saint-Barthélémy will cease to be an outermost region (OR) of the European Union as from 1 January 2012, following a decision adopted at Nicolas Sarkozy's request at a European Council.Welcoming this, Mrs Penchard stated that "the law applicable to Saint-Barthélémy may deviate from European law and standards in order to adapt to its specificities".Given its economic situation, this change in status could facilitate trade between Saint-Barth (8,450 inhabitants in 2007) and the United States, according to the latest report by the Institut d'émission des départements d'outre-mer (IEDOM).




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