30 Apr 2004

Nauru minister doesn't believe nation needs regional assistance

3:25 pm on 30 April 2004

Nauru's Minister for Economic Development, Remy Namaduk, has played down the opposition's calls for regional assistance over concerns the country is facing a crisis comparable to that of Solomon Islands.

Opposition MP Dr Kieren Keke, says the government, which is the country's biggest employer, owes public servants nine to twelve months wages.

He says some people have little else but fish and coconuts to live off and regional help is required.

But while Mr Namaduk admits Nauru is at a new level of crisis, he doesn't think it requires a step as drastic as the Solomons solution.

"Sounds a bit dramatic to me. You must remember that we're only a country of nine or ten thousand people and we're very strongly into the extended family system and there pockets of wage earners. So the situation is not as dramatic as what the good doctor said."