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Martinique welcomes MP after Nazi jibe at French Interior Minister

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FRANCE (MARTINIQUE), Fort-de-France : Serge Letchimy (C), deputy mayor of Fort-de-France steps in between demonstrators and French gendarmes during a demonstration, on March 6, 2009 in Fort-de-France on the French Caribbean island of Martinique. The top o

French opposition MP Serge Letchimy received a warm welcome in his constituency on the Caribbean island of Martinique on Wednesday. Right-wing MPs' indignation over his linking Interior Minister Claude Guéant to ideologies that led to Nazism seemed not to have hurt his support base. 


A parliamentary disciplinary committee decided on Wednesday to take no action against Letchimy, after a speech that caused right-wing MPs to walk out of the National Assembly and him to be punished.

Their protest was sparked by his accusation that French Interior Minister Claude Guéant's widely reported remark that not all civlisations are equal was a throwback to colonial ideolgies that led to the Nazi concentration camps.

But wellwishers turned out to greet him when he returned to the French caribbean territory of Martinique.

On arrival at the airport, Letchimy thanked them and claimed to have received international support.

He said he was moved by the message he received from prominent US black politician Jesse Jackson, who told him that when he stood up in the French parliament and reminded his colleagues of the fundamental values of the French republic - liberty, equality, fraternity - that it was a moment of pride for “all humanity”.