France's Pacific island territory of New Caledonia will hold a second referendum on independence next year, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Friday. Voters in a November 2018 poll chose to remain part of France by 57 per cent to 43 per cent, a result hailed by President Emmanuel Macron as "historic". The date for next year's poll will be decided over the coming fortnight, but will be either August 30 or September 6, Phillipe said.
French since 1853, New Caledonia is a remote island territory in the southwestern Pacific and has around 270,000 inhabitants. It is located about 18,000 kilometres (11,000 miles) from mainland France -- some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia. The bulk of New Caledonia's population is made up of indigenous Melanesians known as Kanaks (39 percent) and European inhabitants, or Caldoches (27 percent).
There are also minorities from the relatively nearby Polynesia Pacific region, and a growing part of the population identifies as mixed-race or "Caledonian". Violent clashes between Kanaks and Caldoches in the 1980s were ended by a French-brokered reconciliation, attempting to rebalance wealth and share out political power. A landmark 1988 deal between France and opponents and supporters of independence, gave the islands more autonomy.
French President Emmanuel Macron said that France cannot host everyone intensifying his tough decision on immigration. Last week the President focused a strict line on immigration in the second half of his mandate arguing the government must stop voters from being carried away to the far-right. President Macron in an interview with a news channel at the UN in New York said France cannot host everyone if it wants to host people well. Macron realized that France had seen a sharp increase in the numbers of people who are seeking asylum since the 2017 presidential elections and said a combined effort from the European nations was needed. He said that Europe lacks enough cooperation and it needs to look after the migratory process and take necessary actions.