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A few years later though Spain regained this territory, after an era of conflict, the Island fell to the hands of the Dutch and the French, who shared it between them (Geographia.com).
French laws and constitution govern Saint Martin. Chief of State is the French President. The members of the Territorial Council elect president of the Territorial Council. Saint Martin also elects one seat to the French Senate.
Frommer’s travel guide (Porter and Prince, 2005, p.587) has stated that Sint Maarten which used to be a sleepy Caribbean backwater, is now a booming town with its duty paid shops making it a virtual mall. Cruise-ship crowds make the scene more chaotic but all these indicate the economic upward rise of this part of the Island. But the French part of the island is much quieter. French Saint Martin is governed directly from Gaudelope and has representation in the government in Paris. (Porter and Prince, 2005, p.587).
In 2003, the population of Saint Martin Island and Saint Barthelemy Island voted to secede from Gaudeloupe, the name that represented the whole Island nation. (Caribbean Net News, 2003). In 2007, the French portion of the Island also became an overseas collectivity. Saint Martin was accessed to Europian Union later via the treaty of Lisbon. (Treaty of Lisbon, 2007, p.152).
Language of the Sint Maarten side is officially Dutch and The St. Martin side is officially French. But English is the most common language throughout the island. Spanish, French Patois, and Papiamento, a dialect of Netherlands Antilles are spoken by small segments of the population. It is on the Dutch islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curasao, Papiamento is preferred as the first language (Sullivan, 2003, p.15)
Dutch is the language used on Sint Maarten as the learning medium in schools and as the official administration language.
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