France takes a practicallyÂ significantÂ – and symbolically huge – step towards making things right with Haiti:
France Unveils Bastille Day Framework Initiative for Haitiâ€™s Reconstruction
Ever since Haiti was ravaged by the devastating earthquake of January 12, France has called for international debt forgiveness for Haiti.
[ . . . ]
The French Republic and Haiti share deep ties of history, language and culture. Bastille Day is a perfect occasion to celebrate the cherished values of our rebublic–values that were also a beacon to the Haitian people when they cast off the shackles of slavery, and founded the second republic of the Americas.
In the context of our national holiday, we are thus announcing the dawn of a new era of cooperation between France and Haitiâ€”a partnership based firmly in these shared values. Whereas our nations’ relations were, historically, at times tumultuous, today we start with a clean slate united by compassion and cooperation.
Under the Framework Initiative for Haitiâ€™s Reconstruction, unveiled today by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, France is repaying the historic debt of 90 million gold francs Haiti paid to France following the formerâ€™s independence at the dawn of the 19th century.
[ . . . ]
Under the new framework, the 90 million gold francs, which Haiti paid France from 1825 until 1947, will be reimbursed in a yearly budget over the course of 50 years. Economic advisors working with the Ministry have calculated that the total sum amounts to â‚¬ 17 billion including adjustments for inflation and a minimal interest rate of 5 percent per annum.
Emphasis mine. Â Good luck, Haiti.