31 Aug 2005

EU officials brief French Polynesians on advantage of euro conversion

11:49 am on 31 August 2005

European officials are in French Polynesia to brief authorities on the advantages of converting to the euro currency.

A representative of the European Commission monetary affairs committee, Benjamin Angel, told the Tahitipresse news agency the territory could convert its currency within three years.

Mr Angel says his job is to make sure any transition will go as smoothly as possible.

He says businesses and people need time to get ready for change.

In the event French Polynesia becomes independent, Mr Angel suggests there will be problems with the balance of payments.

He says if you introduce the euro one day, and independence the next, there'll be a terrifying economic crisis.

Mr Angel says there would have to be a massive drop in salaries for the euro to be viable, in an independent French Polynesia.