19 Aug 2005

French Polynesia intervention group eases Tahiti port blockade

9:35 am on 19 August 2005

The man leading the port blockade by the French Polynesian Intervention Group in Tahiti says aviation fuel tankers will be allowed through.

The news agency Tahitipresse reports Rere Puputauki as saying aviation fuel tankers will be allowed through to access fuel reserves held at the port in the capital, Papeete.

The commercial director of Mobil in French Polynesia, Luc Peridou, says all the company's petrol stations will run dry this afternoon as a result of the blockade.

The blockade has pushed motorists on the island to fill up their vehicles.

French Polynesia's president, Oscar Temaru, has given the GIP intervention force until tonight to end their blockade.

About 300 members of the GIP began the blockade on Wednesday night, purportedly to ensure the continued employment of all 1300 GIP members.