20 Jul 2004

French Polynesia leader pushes currency switch

2:31 pm on 20 July 2004

The French Polynesian president is this week expected to hold meetings with European Union officials in Brussels.

Oscar Temaru is thought to be pushing to replace the French Pacific Franc with the euro as the currency of the territory.

An analyst of financial affairs in the Pacific, Pavel Molchanov, says a currency change is unlikely to make much material difference.

Mr Molchanov says the value of the French Pacific Franc is already pegged to the euro.

"The euro is used widely abroad; it's used in several of the French former African colonies with great success, so I think it would be a positive move, but would it be a significant change in the economy? Almost certainly not."

Pavel Molchanov says if French Polynesia adopted the euro it wouldn't affect its chances of joining an economic union of Pacific Island countries.