Page last updated at 03:37 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Violent strikes on French island

Protest in Fort-de-France, Martinique. File photo
Strikes and protests have hit the islands' tourism industry

Police on France's Caribbean island of Guadeloupe have arrested dozens of people as protests against the rising cost of living turned violent.

Officials said police responded after coming under a barrage of stones from the protesters in Pointe-a-Pitre.

The protest's organisers said police used tear gas to disperse crowds and several people were injured.

On the neighbouring French island of Martinique, thousands of people held a rally, demanding higher wages.


The protests started almost a month ago, bringing life on the islands to a standstill.

Thousands of tourists - an important source of revenue - have reportedly cancelled their holidays in Guadeloupe and Martinique.

The islands have a high cost of living and use the euro.

Correspondents say many residents feel their salaries are not keeping up with rising prices.

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